KUCHING: The Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government strives to provide the best healthcare facilities in the state for the benefit of the people of Sarawak, stressed its minister Datuk Seri Sim Kui Hian.
Dr Sim, who is also the Deputy Premier, said that as the minister in charge of public health, one of his top priorities was to look towards creating better healthcare facilities for Sarawakians first.
“Medical tourism is vital, but what is more important is that our own people receive the greatest treatment possible.
“That is why, at our Sarawak Heart Centre, we provide the greatest treatment and do not open for private practice.
“I believe there will be more foreigners than locals visiting the heart centre if we open for private practice.
“Sarawakians should be given precedence to use the centre because it is you and me who are paying the taxes to develop it,” he pointed out.
He said this to reporters when asked if the state would see an increase in medical tourism following the opening of the state borders during the breaking-of-fast ceremony with the media organised by his ministry at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here, yesterday.
Dr Sim, who is also the Batu Kawah assemblyman, added that new specialisations are needed, as the majority of them are now only available in Kuching.
“We need to consider the needs of Sibu, Bintulu, Miri and other areas, as well as the possibility of hiring private doctors to serve in public hospitals.
“And we may not have enough human resources to create a cardiac centre, but we can build the facilities since there are cardiologists in a private hospital in Miri, and we may invite them to come and deliver their services using public facilities as part of the future plans,” he explained.
As a result, he said, these issues, which he described as a hybrid approach, will be looked at further so that people do not have to go to Kuching for cardiac treatment.
On another note, he stated that the Hari Raya open house standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be announced soon.
“In a situation like this, our medical specialists always instruct us on how to safely celebrate Hari Raya,” he stated.
Dr Sim went on to say that the most essential thing is to have excellent ventilation at home and to make sure that everyone, especially those who are at high risk, has received their COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots.