Developing medical hub for northern region

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (second left) presenting a memento to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as (from left) Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba look on at the earth-breaking ceremony for Miri Hospital’s additional building project on Tuesday (Oct 27). Photo: Ukas

MIRI: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is committed to developing Sarawak’s physical and digital infrastructure, which would support Miri Hospital as a medical hub for the state’s northern region.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the development of Sarawak’s road network would act as ‘spokes’, linking hinterland areas such as Marudi, Baram, and Bekenu to the hub.

“The GPS state government is actively developing roads to connect all these areas. Under the Highland Development Agency (HDA), Miri will be connected with Baram and Marudi, continuing to Mulu,” he said, adding that these would be developed under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

He said this when officiating at the earth-breaking ceremony for Miri Hospital’s additional building project here today.

He said that although the cost of developing these roads would be high, Sarawak had some of its own funds and would build roads to connect these areas to Miri Hospital.

According to the chief minister, the state government would also build roads to connect Miri to Limbang and Lawas — to be completed by 2025.

“This will shorten the journey and if there are people who require medical attention in these districts, they can come to Miri via the road that we will develop.”

On digital infrastructure, Abang Johari said the state government’s allocation of RM1bil to upgrade Sarawak’s digital infrastructure would also lead to better healthcare services.

“Now, development in terms of medical services has changed with the introduction of telemedicine.”

He explained that through effective digital infrastructure, smaller hospitals could be linked up with larger ones. With this, he said health services could be improved, especially in the rural community.

At the same time, he commended the Works Ministry for constructing the additional building for Miri Hospital as a green building.

“This is in line with the state government’s aspirations as we want to be a state which emphasises environmental aspects.”