Private hospitals urge govt to stop exports of masks


Hospitals get ready: Women wearing protective masks cross a street in Kuala Lumpur. The APHM, which represents all the large private hospitals in Malaysia, is preparing for a possible drastic increase in the number of patients in the weeks ahead. — AP

PETALING JAYA: Private hospitals in Malaysia are unable to source for three ply masks, N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), said the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).

“This is a serious situation which impacts upon the safety of patients and staff involved. Local manufacturers continue to export such items while the private hospitals are crying out for such crucial supplies, ” the APHM’s president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh told StarBiz.

“We urge the government that the masks and PPE manufactured in Malaysia not to be exported for the moment as the local usage is going to be critical.

“The support of the insurance companies in these critical times will be greatly applauded so that the disease can be treated well and contained, ” Kuljit added.

He also said that it is time for the Health Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to work together and quickly address this situation before it is too late.

Kuljit also said that the APHM, which represents all the large private hospitals in Malaysia, is preparing for a possible drastic increase in the number of patients in the weeks ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that the association is preparing to manage a possible influx of patients needing medical care.

“We are getting ourselves prepared to work with the Health Ministry in managing the possible severe increase number of patients with the novel coronavirus, ” Kuljit said.

“We had a meeting over the weekend and it was decided that private hospitals will prepare themselves with resources to manage both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients based on the critical level at the Health Ministry, ” he added.

He said that the APHM will be meeting with the Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in the days ahead to plan for this purpose.

“We will brief him on our preparedness and collaboration efforts we will do (with the private and public sectors), ” Kuljit said.

He also said that an overcrowding situation at hospitals is a possibility and that is why appropriate planning measures must be undertaken at this stage.

“We need to be prepared. We will be prepared with strategies from now on how to manage electives and emergencies in the both the private and public sectors, ” he said.

“We need to have the private sector to be on standby in case the numbers surge very high.

“This framework will be worked out together with the Health Ministry, ” he added.

IHH Healthcare Bhd and KPJ Healthcare Bhd are among the private hospitals that are listed on Bursa Malaysia and have seen their share prices holding steady amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Covid-19 , Coronavirus , IHH Healtcare , hospitals , stop , export , masks ,

   

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