Sad that former soldier must fend for himself

It is a real sad state of affairs that an army officer, who must have once contributed to our nation's security, is now left to fend for himself as reported in "Amputee upset hospital discharged him" (The New Paper, March 15).

With our hospitals facing bed crunch problems, I am sure the National University Hospital (NUH) had little choice but to discharge Mr Ervine Miranda.

When a person has mobility problems like he does, frustration, anger and anxiety are bound to set in.

But it is commendable that the health-care workers at NUH understood his feelings and have been more than tolerant with his outbursts.

Given that Mr Miranda would not be able to care for himself as his family has left him, the Government could help in several ways. We must bear in mind that in his younger days, he also contributed to nation building. And he needs to be assured that the authorities recognise that.

Firstly, the authorities can help to secure a nursing home for Mr Miranda, where full time care can be given. But before this is done, professionals need to counsel him and advise him on the options open to him. He needs to be assured that help is always available.

Secondly, grassroots leaders, with some volunteers, can help to clean up his three-room flat in Ghim Moh. Then he has the option of renting it out through the Community Development Council, and the income generated can be used to help pay for his care and other needs.

For such a case, the Government can perhaps offer a higher subsidy for full-time nursing care.

Lastly, it would be helpful if some volunteers who are trained in counselling visit him to reassure him that there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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