KUCHING: Sarawak will add 63 more intensive care unit (ICU) beds this year as it braces for a prolong impact of the pandemic, said the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He said the move was implemented jointly by the state and federal governments, with both setting aside funds for the additional beds.
“Currently, there are 53 gazetted ICU beds in Sarawak. For 2021, the Sarawak government is allocating RM15 million while the federal government has allocated RM43 million to increase the ICU capacity by another 63 beds,” he said.
Dr Sim added with the given funding, in 2021, the Sarawak General Hospital had expanded its ICU capacity by 20 beds while the Sibu Hospital had increased its ICU beds by 23.
He said the ICU capacity at the Bintulu Hospital had been increased by eight beds while the Miri, Kapit, Limbang and Serian Hospitals had increased theirs with the addition of four beds respectively.
Dr Sim said the ICU capacity for Sarawak was not on par with other states in Malaysia over the years.
“We have to continue our fight for Sarawak health autonomy by forming Sarawak Medical Council and Sarawak’s own Health Ministry,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Aug 7).
Dr Sim said the Sarawak government had funded the setting up of ICU beds in Kapit and Bau which was a first for both localities.
“Through the funding by the federal government, we have also set up the first ICU beds for Limbang. This is needed as the lives of Sarawakians are at stake,” he said.
The Local Government and Housing Minister said the highest single day requirement for ICU beds was back in June when 120 beds were needed.
“Even when we have the hardware needed, more crucial are our frontline medical staff who have been extraordinary, stepping up and forward to cope with the surge,” he said.