KUALA LUMPUR: A maternity centre in Setapak has been closed down by the Health Ministry in a raid for operating without a valid licence.
Officers raided the centre near Jalan Genting Kelang and sealed the place some three hours later after carrying out a complete search of all three floors of the building.
According to a ministry official, it acted on complaints from the public that the centre was operating without a licence, that its doctors were not trained for certain procedures and that it had a narrow lift.
Ministry officers, he said, had visited the centre on several occasions and had given the owners sufficient time to comply with regulations but it only partly fulfilled the recommendations.
Based on the outcome of the raid carried out on Tuesday night, the official said the ministry closed down the centre because it did not conform to the minimum standards of ensuring patients’ safety.
The building’s signage also did not indicate that it was a clinic and no registration number was seen on the signboard, said the official.
Although it is not known when the centre began operations, births had been recorded at the centre since August. An ambulance and a doctor were on standby during the raid.
A patient was later brought out of the building and transferred to a hospital, said the official.
The chief executive of the centre claimed that they were not supposed to carry out child deliveries but they had done so in emergency cases, adding that he gave the green light for the clinic’s doctor to perform a delivery on Tuesday because the patient was close to delivering.
He claimed that they had applied for a maternity hospital licence in June and did not meet the Health Ministry’s requirement but it had allowed the centre to provide outpatient treatment until they were able to meet the requirements.
He added that the clinic had conducted “a handful” of emergency delivery cases.
On complaints that the centre did not have relevant specialists, he said they had an obstetrician and gynaecologist on call but would soon have a permanent specialist and a paediatrician once a permit was given.
He denied that the centre carried out abortions.
Deputy health director-general Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran said investigations were still ongoing.