TEMERLOH: It may have state-of-the-art equipment, but the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital here has yet to be assigned a single houseman to help in its daily operations.
According to a source, the RM490mil hospital was completed on schedule under the 8th Malaysia Plan.
Equipment in the medical facility includes machines for CT-scans and magnetic resonance imaging, and it also has hydrotherapy pools and close to 500 beds.
However, its present level of operations and manpower is comparable to that of the now defunct 200-bed Mentakab Hospital.
It is a first-class medical facility but does not have the required staff to man it, said the source.
The source added that, as such, the hospitals specialists and medical officers had to do the work of housemen and even fill out medical certificates.
Their time can be better used diagnosing patients problems, and on medical procedures.
When specialists and medical officers have to perform the duties of housemen how are they going to do their own work? he asked.
The hospital, officially opened by the Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah on March 27, is also short of support staff.
And on certain occasions, specialists have had to rope in the support staff available to do the work of housemen.
This is crucial, especially during emergency cases when the specialists have to get ready to perform immediate operations, said the source.
The hospital, which started operations on April 1 last year, caters to people in the western parts of Pahang such as Temerloh, Bera, Jerantut, Raub, Lipis, Bentong and Maran.
Meanwhile, hospital director Dr Bahari Awang Che Ngah said the hospital had asked for 40 housemen but the Health Ministry had only approved 20 to date.
We expect them to report for duty by the end of November, he said when contacted.
He added that while the housemens presence would be of help, they were still in the learning process and the specialists and medical officers could not depend totally on them.
Their work will still have to be monitored, he said.
Dr Bahari said the doctors and support staff had been doing a commendable job with the hospital operating at 70% bed capacity and serving at least 1,000 patients daily,
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