Najib has still to fully honour his 2015 pledge to 750,000 pensioners that he would be the person of last resort to resolve all their legitimate complaints and grievances re the sudden, unethical and cruel halt of supplies of medicines and equipment by private hospitals and pharmacies

Yesterday, I asked the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to honour his pledge in April 2015 when launching the Government Pensioners’ Foundation that pensioners should “come to me if you need help” by intervening and resolving within 24 hours the sudden, unethical and cruel halt of supplies of medicines and medical equipment to 750,000 pensioners by the private provider, OratisRx Sdn Bhd.

The 750,000 pensioners were caught by complete surprise when private hospitals and pharmacies were given less than 24-hour notice by OratisRx Sdn. Bhd on 27th February 2017 to stop all medical supplies to the pensioners as “any claims of repayment for supplies after February 27 2017 are invalid and not the responsibility of OratisRx Sdn Bhd”!

My call to the Prime Minister had some effect, for it compelled the PSD to issue a late-night announcement that pensioners can still obtain medication from public hospitals after the termination of the Electronic Medical Automation Supply System (e-MASS) that allowed pensioners to get medication from private hospitals and pharmacies.

The PSD statement said the E-MASS service provided by Oratis RX Sdn Bhd expired in January 2017 and was only extended until Feb 27 on an interim basis.

This is most unsatisfactory and showed that the Prime Minister has still to fully honour his pledge to the 750,000 pensioners that he will be the person of last resort to resolve the complaints and grievances of the pensioners.

After a life-time of government service, is this the shabby way the government is rewarding the 750,000 pensioners by pushing them from pillar to post, failing to give them satisfactory answers to legitimate questions, such as:

Why they were not informed officially by PSD until late last night ( after three days of pandemonium for the 750,000 pensioners who need supplies of medicine and medical equipment from private hospitals and pharmacies) that the OratisRx contract had been terminated? As the OratisRx contract had expired in January and extended on an interim basis until Feb. 27, why weren’t the 750,000 pensioners given advance warning of the situation?

Who were the PSD officers responsible for such deplorable treatment of the 750,000 pensioners who had given a lifetime of service to the government and nation?

The call by the DAP MP for Seputeh that “heads must roll” for such shabby treatment of the pensioners find resonance among the 750,000 pensioners and should acted on by the Prime Minister.

Can the 750,000 pensioners expect a full explanation from the PSD?

Furthermore, why was the OratisRx contract terminated – as it is clear that attempts were made until the very last minute on Feb. 27 for its continuation?

Not only the 750,000 pensioners, but all Malaysians, are entitled to know why the OratisRx contract failed to be extended, and why it was installed in the first place, who were the “cronies” who benefited from it, and what is being done to restore the position where the 750,000 pensioners can get supplies of medicines and medical equipment not available at government hospitals, without the hassle, inconvenience and burden of having pay for them in the private sector and which take an inordinately long time before reimbursement by the PSD?

The Prime Minister is currently visiting Sabah.

I suggest that the first thing he should do when he returns to Putrajaya is to summon a meeting of the PSD officers responsible for ther OratisRx mess so that he could announce a satisfactory solution to the problem, as well as announce what he is doing to teach a lesson to the PSD officials responsible for such shabby treatment of the 750,000 pensioners.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah