‘Help public hospitals in Sarawak’

Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh. - Filepic/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia has requested its member hospitals in Sarawak, specifically in Kuching, to assist the government in managing the rising Covid-19 cases there.

Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this was because Covid-19 patients may soon increase beyond the public hospital’s capacity.

Although the percentage of Category Four and Five patients is in the single digit in the state, Dr Kuljit believes that the cumulative number of Category Four and Five patients in the ICUs and wards will soon increase beyond the available space, exhausting healthcare personnel in the public hospitals.

“One private hospital which is part of a peninsula-based conglomerate in Kuching has agreed to accept self-paying Covid-19 patients within the next week once retrofits and approvals have been obtained.

“However, most private hospitals in Kuching have small bed capacity and their percentage of available beds and ICUs for Covid-19 is limited. The other private hospitals in Kuching are in discussion to provide assistance if requested by the government,” he said.

He also hoped that more non-Covid-19 patients from the government hospitals could be decanted to the private hospitals in Kuching which would create space for Covid-19 patients to be treated in government facilities.

“This process of decanting had a huge success in the Greater Klang Valley with 3,187 patients receiving care in the private hospitals.

“Currently, there are about 1,000 beds available for future decanting.

“Penang has so far decanted 69 patients which began 10 days ago and the process is now ongoing rapidly, and the private hospitals on the island have treated 1,325 Covid-19 self-paying patients since the pandemic,” 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 peninsula both in treating self-paying Covid-19 and decanted non-Covid-19 patients based on their existing capacity and capability.

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