KUALA LUMPUR: The government has spent RM73.5mil in having non-Covid-19 patients treated in private hospitals from January to Sept 30 this year, the Dewan Rakyat was told.
In a written reply dated Tuesday (Oct 26), the Health Ministry said 38 public hospitals and 71 private hospitals were involved in outsourcing services nationwide, and 8,338 surgeries and medical procedures were successfully performed at those facilities at a cost of RM73.5mil.
"Backlog cases and waiting times were reduced through the outsourcing initiative, although the number of private hospital facilities and expertise in some states is limited," it said in a written reply to Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching).
Yii had asked the government how much was spent in outsourcing non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals and how many backlog cases there were at the moment.
The ministry said that as of Sept 30, there was a total of 59,049 backlog cases for surgical-based cases and non-Covid-19 medical-based procedures at its facilities nationwide.
"This situation also happened in many countries in the world, where the spread of Covid-19 caused emphasis to be placed on Covid-19 patients, causing the treatment of non-Covid-19 cases to be affected," it added.
The ministry said it was studying ways of reducing backlog cases, among them being the inclusion of more private hospitals in its outsourcing programme, as well as the gradual setting up of repurposed operating theatres at public hospitals.
It also said it is in talks with army hospitals and university hospitals to address the backlog issue.