TO HELP strengthen Malaysia’s healthcare system in coping with the recent surge of Covid-19 patients, Maybank is donating RM14mil to urgently upgrade the capacity at two public hospitals.
The contribution, to be channeled via Mercy Malaysia’s Covid-19 Hospital Surge Capacity Support Programme, will see the deployment of critically-needed equipment and personnel to Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in Klang, beginning from the fourth week of July 2021.
Maybank Chairman Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said the group viewed with concern the increasing number of Covid-19 patients of late and the resulting strain on the nation’s medical infrastructure.
“We recognise the challenges faced by our hospitals and heroic frontliners, as well as the anguish of the patients and their loved ones who may face delays due to the overwhelming number of cases,” he said.
“We felt it was essential that all efforts be made to alleviate the critical need for medical support at this time and offer relief to both the patients and frontliners," he added.
Mercy Malaysia president Datuk Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus said the organisation was honoured by the continued support from Maybank, which began in 2014.
"The latest funding shows the recognition and trust Maybank has in our work as a non-profit organisation where pre-emptive sources of funding are key to delivering emergency humanitarian response,” he said.
Zamzamzairani said the programme will be carried out over an estimated 20-week period via a three-pronged approach - the provision of health equipment and supplies; mobilisation of human resources; and technical training, including in mental health and psychosocial support.
“It will result in the ICU bed capacity for Category 4 and 5 Covid-19 patients increasing by six units in HTAR and 10 units in HKL, as well as an additional 200 Covid-19 patient beds at each of these two hospitals,” he said.
“At the same time, it will also add 40 health workers and support staff for HTAR and 50 for HKL, to serve at both Covid-19 and non-Covid wards, thereby enabling outpatient departments to re-open and serve patients.”
The initiative will also see more medical staff trained in the proper handling of Covid-19 cases as well as provide a wide range of much-needed ICU and non-ICU medical equipment, including for both the hospitals’ emergency departments.
These include close to 4,000 medical and supporting equipment such as blood pressure monitors, ECG and cardiac machines, oxygen flow meters, defibrillators, ventilators, oxygen concentrators, critical care vital monitors and ICU beds, among others.
Recognising the need to reduce the burnout rate and mental health challenges among frontline health workers, the programme will also provide mental health and psychosocial support services through reliable health management modules and mechanisms, and deliver direct aid to reduce the livelihood burdens of these workers and their family members.
Zamzamzairani said that given the especially acute capacity challenges at HTAR, Maybank’s contribution will also see the setting up of a temporary field hospital there together with the provision of technical training to augment the treatment and recovery of Covid-19 patients.
This will help reduce the existing load at the ICU and general wards by the active management of Category 3 patients.
“Our hope is that by working together with the health authorities, Mercy Malaysia and all Malaysians, the sustainability of our nation’s healthcare system will be assured, and our hospitals will be better equipped and prepared to face not only the current Covid-19 outbreak, but also other future unexpected pandemics,” he said.
“As a group committed to humanising financial services, we will continue to do our utmost to support the communities we serve so that we can sustain lives and help contain the spread of the disease, while reducing the risks and stress for frontline workers.”
Prior to this collaboration with Mercy Malaysia, the Maybank Group had, in 2020, contributed more than RM20mil to support various Covid-19 relief efforts such as through the provision of medical and personal protective equipment to hospitals, aid for the disadvantaged, provision of washing stations for marginalised communities and supplies of essential kits to health facilities for infection prevention and control.
The group also offered its digital fund-raising platform MaybankHeart which saw more than RM500,000 raised to support various causes in the fight against Covid-19.