Covid-19: Health Ministry to meet private hospitals to discuss role in handling pandemic

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will be meeting with private hospitals to discuss their role in helping with the Covid-19 situation in the country.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that with the movement control order and the Emergency order, they could work with private hospitals to look into Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 private hospitals.

“We have a meeting tomorrow with private hospitals to see how best we can accommodate. We need to accommodate non-Covid-19 patients, for example, in cases like cancer and semi-emergencies. They can continue treatment in non-Covid-19 private settings.

"We also need to look into the capacity of private hospitals to cater to Covid-19 patients. Discussions are ongoing and hopefully we can look into how we can accommodate the increase in the number of patients especially in the Klang Valley, ” he said Wednesday (Jan 13).

Dr Noor Hisham said there was a need to reduce the number of patients.

He said the plan was to reduce the number of new cases to 500 in four weeks, with further time needed to flatten the curve further.

He said there were a few possible solutions to the increase in daily cases.

As 10% or 15% of 3,000 cases would need admission into the hospital as they were more serious, the less serious cases could be isolated at home as practised in other countries.

He said there was a need to identify the suitability of being quarantined at home, with space and suitability a criteria.

He said they could also consider using hostels, such as in the Teratai cluster where it was used or even the use of hotels.

He said because of the spike in cases, non-Covid hospitals had to take in Covid-19 patients, with 41 patients under ventilation in these hospitals.

"The concern is that once they take in Covid-19 patients, the non-Covid-19 patients will be neglected in that sense, ” he said.

He said that they had space to add capacity in the Sungai Buloh Hospital, which can accommodate 60 patients that need ventilators, but that they were short of manpower.

He added that the Public Service Department (JPA) was helping them open up more posts for nurses.

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