Hospital staff rise to the challenge


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 18 Oct 2020

Military help: Military officers setting up a field hospital at the Tawau sports centre to help with unrelated Covid-19 cases including trauma surgery, maternity cases and other emergencies. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Medical staffers at the Women and Children’s Hospital in Likas are working with all the help they can get within their facility to deal with the increasing number of patients amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Sabah.

Though these medical frontliners have not complained about the growing challenges faced amid Sabah’s daily three-digit rise in cases since Oct 1, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham has described the situation here as a “crisis”.

Hospital director Dr Marcus Netto said despite having sufficient manpower the hospital would need help in terms of skilled doctors and nurses.

“We are talking about anaesthesiologists and nurses in the intensive care units, ” he said.

He explained that all medical staff were in high spirits for the time being due to the schedule, support system and motivation given.

“We have improved a lot in how we manage our staff, we give them time off and conduct scheduled health screenings (these are mainly for those directly involved with Covid-19 cases), ” Dr Marcus said.

He said this after receiving contributions including the state’s first mobile negative pressure room from Osimal Foundation represented by its founder and former chief justice of the Federal Court Tan Sri Richard Malanjum yesterday.

Dr Cheah Phee Kheng, the head of Emergency Physicians, who was also present, said the Covid-19 pandemic had shown them the best side of their staff members.

He said though there were challenges, they had all stepped up their game.

“We also get staff members from other departments such as dentistry helping us and this is the kind of unprecedented cooperation we see in the hospital, ” he said.

Dr Cheah said the public too had been very generous and supportive, which was very much appreciated.

Earlier at the event, Dr Marcus said the mobile pressure room was vital in treating Covid-19 patients.

He said the room functioned to sanitise the air inside before releasing it out.

“We need more such rooms, not only for this hospital but at Queen Elizabeth Hospital as well, ” he said.

As for other wards, Dr Marcus said step-down centres for Covid-19 patients who were on the road to recovery and were no longer in critical stage were also being set up in phases by the government.

“Yes, we need more of these step-down centres, ” he said.

He added that there were a total of 186 beds available to handle Covid-19 patients in the hospital.

Dr Marcus added that for Covid-19 screenings, the hospital received an average of about 150 patients a day with 20 to 40 being warded daily.

Other than the mobile room, the foundation also raised enough money to get personal protective equipment and powered air-purifying respirators.

“We will try to bring in more donations to other hospitals as well, ” he said.

The foundation has donated about RM1mil for frontliners in the healthcare system to fight Covid-19 since early this year.

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