Health Ministry wants to speed up ‘sick’ hospital projects

KOTA KINABALU: Three “sick” hospital development projects in Sabah are among 12 nationwide that are behind schedule, says Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

She said the three projects in Sabah were Papar Hospital, Beaufort Hospital and the Sikuati health clinic in Kudat.

She said that based on the latest developments, the construction of Papar Hospital was delayed by about three months, while Beaufort Hospital was delayed by one year and six months, and the Sikuati Health Clinic by almost nine months.

She said the three projects were among the 12 “sick” projects under the Health Ministry across the country.

As for the construction of the Papar Hospital extension project, Dr Zaliha said the RM98.5mil project that began in 2017 was only 62% completed.

"It is a bit behind time, it should be about 70% completed by now," she told reporters after visiting the project site in Papar about 40km from here Saturday (April 8).

"One of the reasons for the delay was because of the Covid-19 pandemic as the project could not be carried out for about three years.

"There are also other factors and these include contractors having problems getting workers as well as building materials.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and hold discussions with the Public Works Department, contractors and other stakeholders to ensure the project moves forward," she added.

Dr Zaliha said that she was hopeful that various problems related to mechanical and electrical issues would be resolved by May and the project completed by the end of the year.

She hoped the new extension building for Papar Hospital would be operational in March next year.

"With the construction of the new Papar Hospital building, it will be able to benefit more than 100,000 residents around the area," she added.

The upgrading of Papar Hospital involved the construction of a ward to provide an additional 84 beds that include a paediatric ward, a women's ward and a male ward.

In addition, the hospital would be better equipped with emergency and trauma services as well as imaging (X-Ray), a satellite pharmacy, an operating room and other related facilities.

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