Raw deal for former Athletes at ISN , another issue for Minister to ponder

For reasons better known to those at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the National Sports Institute and the National Sports Council, hundreds, if not thousands of former Athletes are being given a raw deal and deprived of medical attention.

Prior to July 2019, Former Athletes who needed treatment could go to the National Sports Institute and receive it free of charge, as a gesture towards their contributions towards sports in the country.

This was for simple medical consultation that those at the Sports Institute could handle.

But from July last year these Athletes had to pay for seeking treatment at ISN, no thanks to the fact that the Institute was short of funds.

How did this happen?

Well the story goes like this.

Prior to 2015, the NSI used to receive an annual Budget ranging from TM 20 to 30 million per year,

Then in 2015, the administrators were told to expect only RM 20 million.

Somewhere along the way RM5 million was short changed and they only received RM15 million by end 2015.

And they managed with that amount, so that was then the yardstick first future funding.

However in the influx of funds for the Podium Program saw NSI survive as most staff costing was under the Podium Program.

However after the Asian Games in 2018, those in NSC next door, with the exit of KJ as Minister, saw a perfect opportunity to lay claim to the big budget of the Podium Program.

And within two months of a sham of a post mortem, Malaysia lost close to a hundred experts in sports science whom we had nurtured for years, some as far back as 1996.

Need one reveal that a total of RM59 million, as stated in the internal audit report was misused, not only by those in ISN but also the all powerful NSC.

However we will reveal more on this RM59 million after the next Ops Aman meeting.

So today any former Athlete wishing to seek treatment at ISN, can only do so at its private wing and has to pay a deposit of RM200 at registration.

The doctors attending to the patient are allowed to charge a consultation fee of RM80 to RM230.

Please note that at Pantai and Assunta Hospitals where I was a regular, the consultation fee was RM85.

Should the patient require medication or other services such as X Ray or Ultra Sound or Physio , then more charges are applicable.

And if there is medication dispensed then it’s added on to the bill upon collecting it at the pharmacy,

The former Athletes are however advised to submit their claims to Yakeb.

Now here is the catch, Yakeb itself is suffering trying to raise money for its coffers.

Until today Yakeb and NSI have not finalised an agreement by which Yakeb picks up the tab and NSI submits monthly claims to Yakeb.

As for NSC, only those athletes under their programs are allowed to seek treatment at NSI as NSC will not pay for athletes not under their program.

Classic example was prior to SEA Games where some sports rather have their flu immunisation from outside NSI as it was chestier!.

So why all this red tape or profit mentality since last July?

It’s all a question of money and who is the King of Thrones – the Malaysian Sport’s Version.

Budget for sports was supposedly increased by the Federal Goverment over the two PH led budgets with NSC reportedly getting RM230 million.

So why is it so difficult for them to allocate a meagre RM2 million towards the medical cost at NSI?

Why the discrimination towards former Athletes when they sacrificed years and as a result NSC grew in strength ?

Well Dato Seri Reezal Merican, here is another jigsaw in the puzzle you need to sort out.

Enough on your plate for today?

I do not expect any response from you though, for I realise except for KJ and Hishamuddin during their tenure as Sports Ministers, the others just adopted the “tidak apa” attitude.

I am fine by it, sort of immune to this rotten system in place where telling the truth is a mortal sin.

Only cronies and those who are of use to certain people on Jalil Hill enjoy perks.

Till my next expose, stay safe everyone and stay at home like I have been doing for the past 5 years.