One-stop centre for children eyed

National 2 minutes, 32 seconds


THE Ministry of Health is looking into the possibility of integrating services provided by Child Development Centre (CDC) with the Women and Children’s Centre at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital in order to offer special needs children better facilities.

According to the Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi, the Women and Children’s Centre at RIPAS Hospital, which was launched in April 2015, is equipped with infrastructure that is also more suitable and favourable for all children.

This was the response by YB Dato Dr Hj Zulkarnain to questions raised by Legislative Council (LegCo) Member Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Maharaja Kerna Dato Paduka Seri Hj Yaakub Pehin Orang Kaya Maharaja Diraja Dato Paduka Hj Zainal during the LegCo proceedings yesterday.

“Children with special needs certainly are entitled to all available facilities at (the Women and Children’s Centre at RIPAS) just like other children,” said YB Dato Dr Hj Zulkarnain.

He added that this integration will bring about added value and optimum healthcare in a one-stop centre to ensure clients will continue to receive the best service and a positive learning outcome at the same time.

According to the health minister, every year the CDC receives around 400 new referrals.

He stressed it does not necessarily mean that the children being treated have to be categorised under special needs as they are referred for an assessment.

YB Dato Dr Hj Zulkarnain said that instead of having to go to each specialist units with waiting lists for appointment as long as six to eight months, it would be better to have a one-stop centre for the children.

The ministry of health is looking into the possibility of allocating space within the Women and Children’s Centre at RIPAS Hospital, he added.

“The Ministry of Health is committed to provide the best healthcare service to people of all walks of life including children with special needs through multi-disciplinary and integrated specialist care as well as patient- and people-centred approach,” he said during the LegCo meeting.

The ministy, in cooperation with specialists of various disciplines as well as parents and guardians, is in the process of reviewing the services currently available for special needs children, he said.

This is in line with the ministry’s primary focus of enhancing the quality of service delivery, among others, through the consolidation of services, facility and infrastructure.

Speaking on the sidelines of the proceedings, he said that the ministry has been reviewing all their services in collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders at every level.

He added that the internal stakeholders include all the ministry’s staff while external stakeholders comprise the public, grassroot leaders and the clients.

“The ministry of health wants to see things (through the perspective) of the patients or clients,” he said, adding that the ministry needs to serve them in a way that they should be served.

The ministry also value feedback from the public, including parents and guardians of special needs children.

The Brunei Times