Over the weekend, a Facebook post of a cancer patient being forced to take an ambulance to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) office went viral.
The post garnered more than 18k reactions and 14k shares.
On Saturday, the patient, who is 56 years old and has stage 4 cancer, had to go to the EPF office in person in order to withdraw her balance from her account, despite being bedridden.
The patient’s sister, Nur Sheila Abdullah, asked them if they can make a home visit and do fingerprints manually. However their replied was disheartened. She then shared a descriptive post onto her Facebook page, detailing the struggles they went through to help their sister travel to the EPF office to complete her withdrawal.
“EPF’s slogan is ‘Ready to Help’, but as I think back, is that slogan right? Or just to help the healthy contributors? if you are sick and bedded, please help yourself ” wrote Nur Sheila.
She went on to explain that the EPF staff insisted her sister to physically show up in the office to withdraw her balance, whether or not she is bedridden, as they required her to take a thumbprint scan.
“My brother and I asked the information counter at the Johor Bahru EPF office for help because our sister is a cancer patient who is bedridden,” wrote Nur Sheila.
“They said NO and that it didn’t matter if she came in an ambulance or a stretcher, but she would still have to come down to the office to use their machine to take her fingerprint.”
Nur Sheila and her brother had no choice but to proceed rented an ambulance as their transport for her sister but again, they were disappointed with EPF.
“The ambulance we rented was told off by the security and instructed to drive to the back of the building so that we don’t block the front entrance,” wrote Nur Sheila.
“The driver was in a hurry but had to go around many times and couldn’t find a spot to park. Finally, an EPF officer came to the ambulance and ordered them to push the stretcher all the way to the counter.”
She added that she was extremely sad seeing her sister being stretchered into the building as she quickly became the centre of attention to people in the office.
Soon after they sorted out the paperwork, an EPF officer approached them and said that they didn’t have to come to EPF office and could have just done everything manually, but it would just take more time. What?! Then why there say NO in the beginning?!
“EPF really needs to review their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), we live in a democratic country and somehow quite advanced, we need to change the way we think about these kinds of things,” wrote Nur Sheila.
“It isn’t my intention to find fault but there has to be a change when it comes to convenience for all contributors in the future.”
EPF has since released a statement on its Facebook page to apologise for their poor handling of the situation.
“EPF is extremely sorry and wishes to apologise for the unpleasant experience the contributor and her family faced,
“We have contacted and met with the contributor to better understand the situation. This is not only to help them but also to use this experience to improve our existing processes so that we can provide better services to our contributors,” read the statement.
It added that the company’s goal is always to help out its contributors and take great care with complaints and feedback from its contributors so that it can continue to improve its overall services.
Seriously, we hope there will be a change.