KAMPAR: Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has submitted its building and development plan to the Kampar district council for its hospital project here.
UTAR president Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said the plan was submitted to the council earlier this week, stressing that the new hospital project was still on.
“The Health Ministry gave us its approval for zoning in April.
“We plan to submit the Borang 1 (application to set up or maintain private healthcare facilities or services) to the ministry by the end of September or early October,” he told reporters after the first session of the 25th convocation ceremony at the campus yesterday.
“We hope it can be approved as early as possible so that we can have the groundbreaking ceremony by the end of the year,” he said.
Kampar MP Dr Ko Chung Sen had claimed that the project was cancelled by the Government, but this was refuted by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
Dr Hilmi also said the Government was still in talks with UTAR over the construction of the hospital with full-fledged facilities.
The proposed hospital would be a “specialist training hospital”, serving as a public hospital and also for teaching.
A 42ha plot was donated by the late Perak Ruler Sultan Azlan Shah in 2012 for the project.
Dr Chuah said the estimated cost for the first phase of the project was expected at between RM300mil and RM320mil, including the infrastructure and equipment.
“The first phase will have 250 beds. We will try to keep the cost as low as possible,” he said, adding that healthcare was important to an ageing population.
Dr Chuah also said the hospital would offer contemporary, traditional and complementary medicines.
“It will be unique in the sense that it will have a more holistic aspect, with the inclusion of western, traditional Chinese and ayurvedic treatment,” he said.
Ayurveda is the traditional healthcare from India.
“The hospital will function as an advanced teaching-learning hub for the university’s medical and health science students. It will also provide affordable medical services to the community.
“The hospital will not be profit-based and will be run similarly like UTAR, which is to help the people,” he added.
UTAR chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik opened the convocation ceremony where 610 UTAR students received their scrolls from the guest of honour, Tenaga Nasional Bhd director and Malaysian Aviation Commissioner Tan Sri Chor Chee Heung.
Also present at the ceremony were UTAR council chairman Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh and Tan Sri Hew See Tong, the university’s planning and development committee adviser.