Each emergency dept faces own challenges that can lead to delays, says Health Minister

PETALING JAYA: Each emergency department faces its own challenges that can lead to delays in admitting patients, says Dr Zaliha Mustafa (pic).

The Health Minister, in a series of tweets Monday (Feb 6), said that her team had visited the emergency department of a large quaternary hospital and found different issues than the one faced at Klang's Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR).

"Frontline staff here are struggling because patients who are supposed to be admitted are stuck in the emergency department.

"Delays in admission have an adverse domino effect," she said.

Dr Zaliha added that the Health Ministry acknowledges the scale of the problem, as well as the physical and mental fatigue faced by both healthcare workers and patients on the ground.

"We are having internal discussions with regard to staffing and will be opening up more beds.

"We also want to empower the leadership on the ground," she added.

She said that many of the issues were inherited and systemic but some can be tackled at the local level with sufficient engagement.

"Many frontliners have worked beyond the call of duty during the pandemic, and continue to do so as we face a tsunami of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) post-pandemic," she said.

"We will continue to listen and work on identifying solutions both internally and when advocating for our frontliners in ongoing discussions with the Finance Ministry," Dr Zaliha added.

On Friday (Feb 3), it was reported that the green zone of the HTAR emergency department had been closed for the second time in a week.

A notice was put up at the entrance of the department to inform patients of the situation.

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