PETALING JAYA: The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia has asked its member hospitals in Sarawak - especially in Kuching - to assist the government in managing the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the state.
Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this is because Covid-19 patients may soon increase beyond the capacity of public hospitals.
He added that though the number of Category Four and Five patients in the state were in the single digits daily, patient numbers would rise in intensive care units (ICUs) cumulatively.
"One private hospital in Kuching has agreed to accept self-paying Covid-19 patients within the next week once retrofits and approvals have been obtained,” he said.
"However, most private hospitals in Kuching have a small bed capacity and their percentage of available beds and ICUs for Covid-19 is limited.
"The other private hospitals in Kuching are in discussions to provide assistance if requested by the government," added Dr Kuljit.
He also said that he hoped more non-Covid-19 patients from government hospitals can be decanted to the private hospitals in Kuching, adding that this would create space for Covid-19 patients to be treated at government facilities.
"This process of decanting had a huge success in the Greater Klang Valley with 3,187 patients receiving care in private hospitals and currently there are about 1,000 beds available for future decanting,” said Dr Kuljit.
He also said that Penang has so far decanted 69 patients when the process began ten days ago.
“Private hospitals on the island have also treated 1,325 Covid-19 self-paying patients since the pandemic began," he said.
He added that private hospitals in Kuching and other towns in Sarawak would be able to follow the efforts made by the private hospitals in the Peninsular both in treating self-paying Covid-19 and decanted non-Covid-19 patients based on their existing capacity and capability.