KUALA LUMPUR: A total of RM751mil worth of additional medical equipment has been needed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic so far, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
"The surge in medical equipment was required last year and this year, which comprises intensive care beds, ventilators and other equipment.
"A total of RM593mil was spent for the emergency procurement of additional equipment.
"This does not include local and overseas contributions of equipment worth RM148mil," the Health Minister said when replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof (PN-Alor Gajah) in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Sept 22).
He said the emergency procurement was required to equip hospitals and medical facilities to deal with the rise in Covid-19 cases during the pandemic.
At present, Khairy said that the Health Ministry will continue to rely on existing dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and hybrid hospitals to handle patients.
He was responding to a question raised by Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PH-Kapar) on whether permanent Covid-19 hospitals would be set up in all states in the future.
Teo Nie Ching (PH-Kulai), meanwhile, asked Khairy if there were sufficient doctors and support staff to man the hospitals and medical facilities set up to treat Covid-19 patients.
Khairy said that a national rapid response task force was set up to deploy the necessary manpower where needed.
He cited the example where 223 doctors, nurses and assistant medical officers under the task force were deployed to Penang recently following a surge in cases there.
"The same was done for Kedah where 156 personnel were deployed there and 102 to Sabah," he added.
Khairy said that those deployed under the task force were done on a rotational basis.
He said this was to avoid medical frontliners from experiencing burnouts.