Not many referrals of non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals

KUALA LUMPUR: Doctors in government hospitals can refer their non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals for elective surgeries and procedures without further delay, says the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia.

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-19 patients in order to create more treatment space for Covid-19 patients in public hospitals.

He said at present, all private hospitals in this country had the capacity to assist the government in managing non-Covid-19 patients effectively and this would allow public hospitals to exclusively treat Covid-19 patients as the number of such cases continues to surge.

“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 doctors in public hospitals to private hospitals based on the condition of the ailment, ” he said in a statement here yesterday.

Unfortunately, he said the take-up rate was not satisfactory as only a small number of referrals had been issued for patients who waited for months and 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.

However, he said there was a limit on expanding the capacity to accept more Covid-19 patients in private hospitals due to manpower constraints unlike public hospitals which have house officers, medical officers and more specialists.Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah recently said elective surgeries and procedures in public hospitals around the Klang Valley would be reduced or postponed to allow more hospital beds to be reserved for treating Covid-19 patients. — Bernama

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