KUCHING: The Medical Social Work Service (PKSP) plays a pivotal role in meeting the needs of B40 and M40 patients who are still affected socially and economically as the country transitions to the endemic phase of Covid-19.

Sarawak Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said PKSP plays a vital role in building a network of cooperation with government agencies and non-governmental organisations to provide medical resources to help these groups.

“In facing the challenges of the endemic phase of Covid-19 and globalisation now, PKSP has a mission to ensure that the psychosocial needs of patients, families and communities are met in order to achieve better health,“ he said when inaugurating the Malaysian Medical Social Work Officer Conference here today.

In the context of Sarawak, where the demographics and isolation of residences located far inland is a problem for patients seeking treatment at health institutions, he said PKSP can be a vehicle for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ensure government assistance is accessible to the people.

“The Ministry of Health is transforming the national healthcare system through the White Paper recommendations on the National Health Policy, from sick care or patient care to health care, and PKSP needs to be in line with MOH’s commitment,“ he said.

Aaron said along with the advancement of technology, PKSP should take the opportunity to use the latest technology in providing services to patients.

“The fourth strategic plan proposal to create a virtual consultation between PKSP and clients, who cannot attend follow-up consultation at the treatment facility, is timely to implement.

“Services to patients need to be continued through the latest methods and technology so that the health and welfare of patients can be maintained,“ he added.

Head of the Medical Social Work Profession, Abd Halim Jamil, who also spoke at the event, said the PKSP profession may not be as well established as medical specialists or doctors, but their functions and role have a positive impact in meeting the psychosocial needs of patients, families and communities.

“Various parties expressed how necessary it is to have PKSP in healthcare facilities in the effort to deliver services to the target group,“ he added.-Bernama