KOTA KINABALU: The construction of the teaching hospital - Hospital Universiti Malaysia Sabah (HUMS) - which is currently at 30% done, is set to be fully completed by the end of next year.
UMS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin, while admitting that there were some delays arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, is confident they would be able to achieve this target.
When fully completed, the smart hospital, which will be self-sustainable financially, will offer more than 400 beds with all-inclusive medical facilities.
Officially launched in 2018, the HUMS project covering 110,853 sq m was initially expected to be completed by 2021 but the timeline was changed to March next year, before being revised again.
“Yes there is some delay, also due to the enhanced movement Control Order (enforced on campus) in April.
“With the movement restrictions, construction workers’ capacity was also reduced, as we follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set.
“But once operational, besides being a teaching hospital and a smart facility which is digitally driven, it will also function as a regional hospital - it will upgrade the healthcare landscape in Sabah,” said Dr Taufiq on the project's status.
He earlier presented a briefing to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who visited the vaccine administration centre (PPV) in UMS campus on Thursday (July 22), on the PPV operations, as well as HUMS updates.
At present, despite not having the main physical building yet, HUMS is already providing services via six centres, namely three in Kota Kinabalu and one each in Labuan, Sandakan and Kudat.
The ones in the state capital are the UMS Kingfisher polyclinic, UMS treatment centre, and a dialysis centre, while the Labuan and Sandakan are campus clinics, and the Kudat facility is a Rural Medical Education Centre (RMEC) with a focus on tuberculosis patients.
In relation to that, Dr Taufiq said they are also seeking the increase of medical students intake in UMS, which is currently at 90, to reduce the ratio of doctor to patient in this state.
“Based on our capacity, we can actually take in 150 students, so there is room to accommodate 60 more.
“But I believe we will be able to get this approved, and if more doctors are Sabahans themselves, they will continue to serve here and not consider moving elsewhere,” he added.