JOHOR BARU: Congestion at the two existing main hospitals in Johor Baru is expected to be reduced with the new proposed hospital in Kempas, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
The Health Minister said Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA) and Hospital Sultan Ismail (HSI) were currently operating at 90% of their maximum capacity.
“We will wait for the official announcement to be made during the tabling of Budget 2023 but I believe the possibility of the hospital being built is good as it’s one of our main priorities.
“We plan to have a total of 350 beds in the new hospital, which would be equipped with the latest and most advanced medical equipment to boost medical services in Johor,” he said after launching the state-level Jelajah Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat in Bandar Dato Onn here yesterday.
Also present was Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Khairy noted the construction of the hospital, dubbed HSA 2 for now, was crucial due to the high population of Johor Baru city.
“There are about two million people living in the Johor Baru area. On top of that, patients from other districts in the state are also referred to the hospitals here as most specialists are in Johor Baru.
“So, this (HSA 2) is a very important investment for us to provide the best medical services to the people,” he said.
He added that the construction of another hospital, Hospital Pasir Gudang, which has reached 40% completion, was expected to be completed in November 2024.
On a separate matter, Khairy said the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) would have its first meeting to fine-tune the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022 next week.
“We will hear the response from the special committee but if we refer back to the letter handed over from the leader of Opposition to the Prime Minister, we could see even they agreed on the Bill in principle.
“Even when debating the motion, I would say 90% of MPs agree on the Bill. We only need to refine several aspects, including in terms of enforcement and fines,” he said.
The Dewan Rakyat had earlier passed a motion, tabled by Khairy, to refer the Bill, otherwise known as the tobacco generational endgame (GEG), to the PSSC for fine-tuning.
The committee will look into the enforcement clause, proposed penalties, recommend improvements and study proposals mooted by MPs’ debates and to select committees. Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham is urging employers to ensure all of their foreign workers go through health screenings upon entering the country to curb the spread of urban malaria.
“We urge employers to carry out medical examination on their foreign workers before bringing them into the country.
“We find that malaria cases in Malaysia are from other countries, especially African countries. Hence, these health screenings are vital as they allow us to identify the cases earlier.
“However, at the moment, the situation is still under control,” he said, adding that no deaths had been reported so far.
It was earlier reported that Penang was experiencing an urban malaria crisis following the influx of foreign nationals into the state’s various economic sectors with the health status of these workers being unknown.
On a separate matter, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was monitoring the development of the Lagya henipavirus in China.
“At the moment, the spread of the disease is localised and has not spread elsewhere.
“However, the ministry as well as the World Health Organisation are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.