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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beds on the floor for patients in Sabah hospital


Healthcare in Sabah is a sick joke! Take the district hospital in Kota Belud for instance. Patients sleep on the concrete floor, the wards are hot and poorly ventilated and the atmosphere is chaotic.

This was the sight that met Kota Kinabalu MP and Sabah DAP chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu when he paid a visit to the government's main healthcare centre in the district.

Wards that were designed for four beds and were supposed to be air conditioned had 12 patients sweltering in the heat.

Hiew and other Sabah DAP leaders who paid a surprise visit to the hospital on Sunday were shocked to see patients being treated on the floor.

He said he could not believe what he was seeing.

He questioned the Health Ministry over their judgement in assigning a 29-year-old doctor to take charge of the hospital.

“How can the ministry appoint such a young doctor with limited experience in administrative work to run a big hospital like this?” he asked.

He said he had brought the issue to the attention of the Health Minister during the debate on the 10th Malaysia Plan in the Parliament recently and he was dissatisfied with the answer given by the minister who merely said the young doctor is qualified to do his job.

He said the situation at the hospital clearly showed that either the doctor cannot cope or that the government is ignoring its duty to provide healthcare in Sabah.

No specialists or life-saving equipments

Hiew also noted the absence of specialist doctors even though the hospital is equipped with an operation room.

Currently all patients who need surgery have to be sent to the hospitals in Kota Kinabalu by road, normally a two-hour journey.

“There is a helicopter-pad there but it was never been used,” he said.

He also expressed concern over the lack of critical life-saving medical equipments, even though the hospital is tasked to serve a large population there.

State Assistant Minister of Health Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin told the state assembly recently that the Health Ministry has taken note of the problem of insufficient hospital beds in Kota Kinabalu.

She assured that several problems facing healthcare services in the state would be addressed under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Hiew however warned that the sick cannot wait for the 10MP to be implemented.

He said the government did not even have enough money to buy beds for Kota Belud Hospital but was assuring it could solve the state's healthcare woes.

courtesy of FMT

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