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Yayasan Ipoh Ensures that No One is Left Behind 

By Mei Kuan

Founded in 1982, Yayasan Ipoh (YI) is a non-profit organisation established to primarily raise funds to support the rehabilitation services of its therapy division, Persatuan Pemulihan Sultan Azlan Shah (PPSAS). No one is left behind as this donor-funded rehabilitation centre in Bercham provides various therapy services for people with disabilities and anyone in need irrespective of race, religion, culture, age and financial status.

The one-stop centre presently offers professional holistic services, namely pain management therapy, physiotherapy, electrotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, post-operation rehabilitative care, sensory stimulation therapy and daycare for special needs children. The foundation was formerly known as Yayasan Sultan Idris Shah.

The 8-acre site is a disabled-friendly, spacious, resort-like setting brimming with greenery. Aimed to serve the general public and contribute to the common good, a total of 928 patients were treated in 2020.

Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah

According to Dato’ Dr Ramanathan Ramiah, CEO of YI cum Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of PPSAS, the team reaches out to the clients and community in the pandemic via Facebook and webpage. Patients who have been coming for therapy but stopped showing up would be checked on through phone calls.

Operating in strict adherence to the health and safety standard operating procedures, hydrotherapy and horse riding sessions are currently unavailable and are to resume after RMCO. Besides temperature screening upon entrance, bottles of sanitising solutions are easily accessible in every space while additional handwashing sinks are installed within the area of therapy. After every therapy session, the therapist will clean the couch, table and their hands. 

Cubicles isolated and separated with curtains

“Our spacing is very adequate as each client is placed in a cubicle which is isolated and separated with curtains. Anybody with any form of flu, cough or body secretions oozing out from the skin, rashes, lesions or wounds, would be told to hold on and not to come until they are better. Then, we review them—occasionally I visit their houses to decide. As for daycare for special needs children, we have stopped those from red zones from coming and postponed their sessions to a later time,” explained the amiable Dr Ramanathan. 

The minimal fee per full therapy session starts from RM30. With the prepaid packages, patients are entitled to 1 free session for every 5 sessions purchased. 

“For instance, the rate outside for speech therapy is about RM150 for a 45-minute session, while here we charge just RM50,” he told Ipoh Echo.

At a minimal fee of just RM15, transport is provided to those in need to ferry them to and from the centre. As for others, rest assured that there are parking spots galore and the drop off zones are shaded. Of course, the attentive team is ever ready to assist.

Besides housing the only specially-built dark room (for those with hyperactivity) and white room (for those with hypoactivity) in Perak, equally admirable are the thoughts put into the sensory garden comprising a pebble walk and soft grass walk, wind chimes, translucent roofing and plants of fragrance and texture. Also spotted are the multi-hued paintings on the walls along the walkways. Meanwhile, the battery-operated wheelchairs and fittings of the Independent Living Centre were donated by the people of Japan.

Dark room
White room
Sensory garden
Independent Living Centre

Yayasan Ipoh has been appointed as PERKESO’s (Social Security Organisation) rehabilitation panelist for over a year now.

“We are continuously striving to improve our therapy equipment and services to better serve the community. Of late, we have added a new Physical Fitness Rehabilitation Gym to our portfolio. Fully equipped with 17 pieces of gym equipment, the 117-square metre air-conditioned and naturally lit room features rubber flooring tiles for shock absorption. Our clients will be accompanied at all times by their therapists during gym exercise sessions. The equipment will assist our clients to further improve on their strength and overall fitness level after their normal therapy sessions,” he shared, adding that the gym facility is strictly meant for existing clients only and is free of charge.

Physical Fitness Rehabilitation Gym

He highlighted that at the moment, Yayasan Ipoh is in dire need of funds to keep afloat as monetary donations have dropped drastically. “We need to spend about RM1.4 million in total per year to run the place. The funds would go towards, among others, the salary for all the staff here made up of qualified degree and diploma holders with families. We need to pay them for working here to serve the people.”

Readers who would like to donate to YI can channel their contribution to the CIMB account number 80-0504634-2. Tax exemption receipts would be issued for donations of RM50 and above.

“Here my motto is, I must make sure that the client or patient is happy and must get better. They must be happy to come here,” expressed Dr Ramanathan who started the first spinal care unit in the whole country right at the Ipoh General Hospital in 2000— among his many contributions to the medical field. His journey in Yayasan Ipoh began in 1994 as he used to do social work for the foundation. He joined full time as CEO in 2017 right after his retirement from Ipoh General Hospital.

Yayasan Ipoh opens from 8am till 5pm from Monday to Friday and 8am till 4pm on Saturday (closed on Sunday). Undergraduate student placements are offered while volunteers are welcomed. Dr Ramanathan also runs an orthopaedic consultation clinic from 10am onwards (by telephone appointment only) with a one-off donation of RM50 to Yayasan Ipoh.

Set to launch within the premises in February is YI Tender Care Centre, a senior assisted living facility managed by Perak-based private company, Beloved Angels Sdn Bhd.

“This two-block aged care home, under our name, is different from others. Every room has a huge attached bathroom with broad doors. The common recreational rooms are airy, bright and roomy with landscaped gardens. With affordable monthly rates, it caters to all including those from poorer backgrounds. Residents staying there have the convenience of just walking another 20 feet here for therapy or crossing the gate for another 10 feet to the new gym, all within the vicinity for their convenience. There will be daycare, assisted living, round-the-clock nursing care and rehabilitation,” added Dato’ Ir Chew Choong Seong, Executive Chairman of YI who was instrumental in designing the many premises of Yayasan Ipoh as it expanded in phases.

One of the rooms at YI Tender Care Centre
Huge attached bathroom – YI Tender Care Centre

All rooms (single, twin, triple or quadruple sharing) of YI Tender Care Centre are fully furnished with air-conditioners, 24-hour security and access to the in-house salon and laundry. Plus, one will get to enjoy nutritious meals prepared by the centralised kitchen. 

To learn more, visit www.yayasanipoh.org.my or call 05 5481905. It is located at Lot 158413, Lorong Bercham 11, Bercham, 31400 Ipoh. Meanwhile, inquiries on the YI Tender Care Centre can be directed towards Amy at 012 522 9824.

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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