Plan to improve third-class ward at HKL lauded

PETALING JAYA: The plan to upgrade the third-class ward at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) is good news for all, say former patients of public health facilities.

These patients said that the services from the staff members were good but they had to deal with run-down or makeshift equipment.

“The hospital gowns are insufficient and often not well maintained,” said Nesamany Sinnasamy, 58.

At times, when there are too many patients, she said she would have to share the space or the drawer with others.

“Other amenities, such as the fan, would only function properly sometimes, ” said Nesamany, who was admitted to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban years ago for chemotherapy and post-surgery treatment.

However, she said that she was satisfied with the service at the hospital, saying that she was given proper care.

Factory worker Annie Maselamani, 51, who was warded at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh last year, said her only complaint was the state of the toilet.

“There was no proper cleaning. And there was always a pipe or a toilet that would be under maintenance. Some of the toilets were not repaired even until the day I was discharged,” she said.

However, Annie stressed that the staff were gentle with her and regularly checked in on her.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who visited the HKL’s third-class ward last week, said the government would look into the need to upgrade it as it was often crowded and stuffy.

The wife of a former patient, who only wanted to be known as Chan, recounted the experience her husband went through when he was hospitalised at the third-class ward at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru in 2019

“It was very crowded at that time,” she said.

Once, she said she asked for a urinal bowl and was given a makeshift one that was cut out from a mineral water bottle.

Chan, who is a senior citizen, said the ward was lacking in facilities and manpower with no one to help her push her wheelchair-bound husband to the X-ray room.

In September last year, Anwar visited the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru and announced an immediate allocation of RM500mil for the first phase of an infrastructure development project which would include the construction of a multi-storey carpark as well as several new high-rise blocks.

Health sciences student Lina Syafiqah Amin, who has undergone training at such a public facility, said that public hospitals required much improvement in terms of amenities and equipment in the wards.

“Some wards have only one or two machines that can be used to monitor a patient’s blood pressure,” said Lina, 23, who will be a nurse soon.

“Inadequate equipment would mean that the nurses would have to borrow it from other wards.”

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