GEORGE TOWN: For the first time in the country, a medical association has sought to reward elderly folks who take care of their health with token cash incentives.
The Penang Medical Practitioners' Society, which is the country's oldest medical association having been formed in the 1930s, has mooted this incentive to help promote wellness due to the rising rate of lifestyle-related chronic diseases.
Its president Dr Ajay Kumar Sharma said that the first 50 people who undergo the free healthcare screening at the society's medical camp would be entitled to a cash handout of RM50.
This is provided, they are aged 55 and above, where they must show good marks in their blood pressure and blood sugar readings, he told a press conference.
Ajay said that this initiative is part of efforts to motivate the public to take care of their health.
Globally, many countries are struggling to cope with the escalating costs of health care, especially in treating chronic diseases.
The medical camp is scheduled to be held at the St Anne Church Hall in Bukit Mertajam, next Sunday from 8am until 1pm.
The camp was organised in collaboration with Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong, who is also the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister.
Sim said that an active lifestyle is a step towards boosting general wellness.
Apart from the cash handouts to 50 recipients, Ajay said that the society has arranged for free cataract surgery for those who cannot afford it.
Private hospitals here such as the Adventist Hospital, Island Hospital, Lam Wah Ee Hospital and the Bagan Specialist Hospital have come together to help provide the free surgery to the elderly and the poor, who require the cataract procedure.
“We will screen those who are eligible and perform the procedure for free.”
Among the agencies involved in the camp are the state health department, the state dental care department, the Seberang Jaya mobile blood bank, the Penang Diabetic Society as well as specialists from the medical society here.