Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh (PHAK) donates used hospital beds to Tzu Chi. The handover was led by Pantai Hospital Chief Executive Officer Mr. Yew Aik Tan (third from left) and received by Tzu Chi Melaka Deputy CEO Mr. Kuang Fatt Tan (fourth from right) along with several volunteer representatives. | Photo courtesy of Siew Chien Loh

Since its launch in 2022, the Tzu Chi Eco-friendly Assistive Devices Program in Melaka has been collecting pre-owned assistive devices from various sources. These items are cleaned, disinfected, repaired, and then lent to families in need. As of March 2024, over 2,000 assistive devices have been loaned out.

The demand for second-hand assistive devices has been steadily increasing. On average, the Tzu Chi platform receives nearly 100 requests for hospital beds each month. Sometimes, the demand outstrips supply, leading to waiting periods for patients' families. Unfortunately, some patients pass away before suitable equipment becomes available. Hence, volunteers are determined to maintain sufficient stock to promptly assist families in need.

Considering this, the Tzu Chi Melaka branch has been soliciting donations of second-hand hospital beds from major hospitals across the state. Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh (PHAK) was the first to respond and donate. Their support has given the assistive device team a significant boost, as they hope to inspire other medical institutions to follow suit.

Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh in Melaka donated eight hospital beds to the Tzu Chi Eco-Friendly Assistive Device Program to help underprivileged families. | Photo courtesy of Zhi Yan Liu

CEO of PHAK, Mr. Yew Aik Tan, mentioned that his familiarity with Tzu Chi began during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, Tzu Chi volunteers quickly provided protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers and donated it to various hospitals and institutions, including PHAK. Upon receiving the request for donations, Mr. Tan told his team, "We must support this cause because it is our way of contributing to society."

Through this assistive devices program, equipment no longer needed by one family is transferred to another in need. This initiative not only helps the underprivileged but also promotes the concepts of cherishing resources and environmental sustainability.

Reported by Siew Chien Loh, Zhi Yan Liu | Malaysia

Edited by Chen Yeh | Dept. of Literature and History, Tzu Chi Foundation