KUCHING: The keenly awaited Petrajaya Hospital at Jalan Diplomatik, which is being built after years of planning, should be opened by 2017.
When completed, it will be the equivalent of Miri and Sibu public hospitals but will not become a specialist referral hospital like Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).
Assistant Public Health Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said the hospital would have 300 beds and located on a 16.59ha site.
Infrastructure construction is scheduled to end by October 2016, with the installation of medical supplies to take a few months.
“It’s going to be a normal general hospital with all the basic disciplines. It’s not going to be as specialised as SGH, which will still be the state’s main referral specialist hospital,” Dr Jerip told The Star yesterday.
In April, Zecon Bhd announced that it had secured the RM495mil contract to build the Petrajaya Hospital.
The company first announced the Government’s intention to let it design and build the important facility in 2011.
But despite the early announcement and increasing congestion at SGH, difficulties in selecting the site delayed plans for the hospital.
The state Health Department’s initial proposed location was too swampy and would have involved substantial earthwork costs.
It is believed that Zecon then proposed a site within its own Tunku Vista project, which is a mixed residential and commercial development.
Dr Jerip told The Star that this proposal was axed too due to the land acquisition cost.
“Finally, we settled on an existing available site, next to the newly built state Health Department.
“This current site was supposed to be for staff quarters but that project never commenced. The vacant area is really large, enough for a large car park, so we decided to have the hospital there,” he said.
Other benefits, the assistant minister said, included the fact that
the location was near Bako, state sporting grounds, existing Petrajaya residential estates and also future ones.
Recently, PKR’s Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How urged the Government to speed up the building of the hospital, citing uncomfortable congestion at SGH and public clinics.
The Malaysian Medical Association, Sarawak Branch, has also for almost a decade called for the building of a second general hospital in Kuching.
SGH is located in the city centre and has been plagued with cramped wards and the lack of carparks.
The state Health Department headquarters moved out of SGH and into its new premises early this year.
The area around Jalan Diplomatik is known as the mini Federal Administrative Centre (FAC). Within it are the state headquarters of the Education Department and Information Department.
The mini FAC is along a new road network, which will stretch all the way to Rambungan-Sampadi, where the FAC proper will be located.