Govt docs urged to refer non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals without delay

Dr Kuljit says private hospitals have the capacity to help the government manage non-Covid-19 patients effectively, creating more treatment space for Covid-19 cases.

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia hopes that doctors in government hospitals will refer non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals for elective surgeries and procedures without further delay.

Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this followed an updated circular by the Health Ministry allowing government hospitals to outsource services to private hospitals to treat non-Covid patients in order to create more treatment space for Covid-19 patients.

He said that, at present, all private hospitals in the country have the capacity to help the government manage non-Covid-19 patients effectively, thereby allowing public hospitals to exclusively treat Covid-19 to meet the current increase in cases.

"Treatment of non-Covid-19 patients in private hospitals will be funded by the government based on the circular but patients can only be referred by their treating doctors in the public hospitals to private ones based on the condition of the ailment, ” he said in a statement on Monday (May 17).

Unfortunately, he said the take-up was not satisfactory as only a low number of referrals have been made to help patients in government hospitals who have waited for months, even close to a year, to get treated in private hospitals.

Dr Kuljit also noted that there were 31 private hospitals in the Klang Valley alone which are currently managing Covid-19 patients in normal wards as well as in intensive care units (ICU).

However, he said there was a limitation in expanding capacity to accept more Covid-19 patients in private hospitals owing to manpower constraints, unlike in public hospitals where there are house officers, medical officers and more specialists.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said recently that elective surgeries and procedures in public hospitals around the Klang Valley would be reduced or postponed to enable more hospital beds to be reserved for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. – Bernama

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