PETALING JAYA: The government has started collaborating with private healthcare service providers to ease the burden on overloaded public hospitals, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Prime Minister said the Emergency Ordinance (Essential Powers) 2021 allowed healthcare services to be temporarily outsourced to private service providers.
"This covers hospitals, clinics, laboratories, human resources, services and other essential assets to enhance the efficiency of managing the pandemic," he said in a special address on Thursday (Feb 4), adding that this would carry on until the state of Emergency is over.
He added that the public healthcare system had reached a breaking point with the increase in Covid-19 cases and the problem had to be addressed before it collapsed.
He also said the cluster hospital concept among government hospitals would be expanded to include university hospitals, army hospitals and private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.
"Private hospitals will operate as cluster hospitals in the public sector under the integrated Covid-19 control centre," he said.
Muhyiddin said the government had already started collaborating with 31 hospitals to outsource treatment for a fraction of non-Covid-19 patients with an allocation of RM27mil.
He also said private hospitals were preparing 1,344 beds in normal wards and 65 beds at intensive care units for Covid-19 patients as of Feb 3.
He also said a combination of medical laboratories in the public and private sector would enhance the capacity for Covid-19 screening.
Currently, he said 68 government and public laboratories were able to carry out 76,805 screenings daily.
Separately, he said 16 former National Service (PLKN) and Kem Wawasan would be temporarily turned into detention and quarantine centres for illegal migrants and temporary prisons.
Muhyiddin said this would reduce overcrowding as well as enhance efforts to stop the entry of illegal migrants.