A boost if Penang Hospital gets upgrade, says Gooi


GEORGE TOWN: Any upgrading of the Penang Hospital, one of the oldest government hospitals in the country, will be a boost to public healthcare not just for the state but also for the northern region.

State health committee chairman Daniel Gooi said Penang Hospital was the referral point for all cardiothoracic (heart and lung) cases in the northern region.

“All heart and lung disease patients with complexities from Penang, Kedah, Perlis, north Perak, and Kelantan are referred to Penang Hospital.

“Similarly, many other departments in Penang Hospital are referral points for serious cases in the northern region.

“From that perspective, any form of upgrading project at Penang Hospital will be welcome,” he said yesterday.

First made a public hospital in 1886, many of the establishment’s wings still retain their colonial structures.

Even before that, since 1854, it was a hospital for the poor founded by several local philanthropists.

For years, hospitals such as Penang Hospital in Jalan Residensi were in desperate need of space for parking.

Motorists are often forced to park illegally along the road to make it to their appointments on time.

Beds are almost constantly in high demand with intensive care units reaching their critical limit during peak periods such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gooi said both at the level of the state and the Health Ministry, the long term focus was on increasing public health awareness.

This is because statistics prove that the majority of the people needing public healthcare have lifestyle diseases, including diabetes and hypertension.

“Regardless of upgrades, if Malaysians are not conscious about the need for a healthy lifestyle, the number of beds in hospitals will never suffice.

“When people start taking better care of themselves, this directly cuts down the illnesses they may face and their need to be admitted into hospitals drops,” he said.

On April 5, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the Federal Government had approved an immediate RM11mil to enhance and repair a health clinic in Bayan Lepas.

On March 9, Anwar also announced an additional RM1mil towards the procurement of extra machines and facilities for the ongoing Hospital Seberang Jaya upgrading to double its 393 existing beds to 630 beds, which was reported to cost RM368mil.

This is in addition to a new parking complex, and improved bedding and intensive care unit facilities.

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Penang Hospital , Daniel Gooi

   

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