MIRI: Miri Hospital that serves as the medical hub for a population of 1.5 million people in northern Sarawak is operating at maximum capacity already and is finding it hard to cope with the high surge in patients every year.
Sarawak Assistant Minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin yesterday said the hospital is already filled to the maximum capacity in terms of number of patients, beds, wards and surgical theatres and also parking facilities.
“The hospital here is already handling up to 12,000 patients per month from all over northern Sarawak.
“Not only are the car parks full every day, the wards and beds arealso usually fully occupied and the two surgery theatres cannot cope with the surge in patients.
“The hospital on average has to handle 140,000 patients per yearand the rate is increasing at at least 10 per cent per annum.
“We need at least two additional surgery theatres and we need to extend the specialist wards and also the wards and number of beds.
“As for the parking facilities, the hospital and the Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) have already jointly facilitated renovation works to increase the parking bays to at least 610 from the current 450.
“The hospital is very congested now in terms of parking and patients,” he said after inspecting the hospital parking area.
Lee, who is state assemblyman for Senadin and SUPP vice-president, said that under the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM350 mil was alloted to upgrade the Miri Hospital.
The state wants the federal treasury to channel the funds fast so that upgrading ground works can commence without delay.
As for the specialist facilities, there is an urgent need to extend the area for treatment of eye, ear, nose and throat ailments, he stressed.
Lee said that as an immediate start, the SUPP and the hospital had managed to secure federal funds of RM200,000 to extend the present car parks and another RM190,000 to expand the specialist wards.
He hoped that these improvement works will be completed before the end of this year.
Accompanying him during the visit was SUPP secretary general Datuk Sebastian Ting and SUPP information chief Adam Yii.
The Miri Hospital is the regional hospital that caters to the whole of northern Sarawak that encompassed one third of Sarawak.
It caters not only to the people of Miri district, but also the districts and sub-districts of Limbang, Lawas, Marudi, Ulu Baram, Niah, Sibuti, Bekenu, Suai, Long Lama, Bakelalan and Bario highlands.