KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will soon have a dedicated specialist hospital for children, a move that will bring the nation closer to developed nations in providing quality health services to the people.
The hospital, to be known as the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Permata Children’s Specialist Hospital would provide treatment in niche areas in paediatric medicine and surgery.
It aims to be in the same league as hospitals including the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said providing quality healthcare services, aside from education and housing were among the Government’s commitment to facilitate the growth and development of children to prepare them to face the complexities of future challenges.
“Since Independence, the Government has provided the people with comprehensive healthcare services.
“The Health Ministry has provided universal health coverage at a minimum cost where in 1Malaysia clinics, a fee of only RM1 is charged. This is a testimony of the Government’s commitment and concern to the rakyat’s needs,” he said yesterday at the hospital’s ground-breaking ceremony.
The RM606mil project will be built on the grounds of Hospital UKM l in Cheras and is expected to be ready in 2017.
It is expected to have a staff strength of 1,900, including 135 specialists and medical officers.
The hospital is the brainchild of Permata Negara patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who has taken keen interest in the wellbeing and development of children and has launched a list of initiatives for children under the Permata banner.
Najib said health indicators show that Malaysia is at almost the same level as developed nations, with 2011 statistics showing that infant mortality rates for those aged below one year being 6.6 for every 1,000 births, a figure similar to that recorded in the United States and Europe.
“Health index is an indication of a country’s success, not only in terms of providing satisfactory healthcare but also in socio-economic aspect,” he said, adding that he had agreed with the construction of a specialist hospital for children as healthcare services were one of the 12 areas under the National Key Economic Area.