SIBU: The Sibu Hospital management has requested the government to extend the services of contract nurses until December 31 to reduce its manpower problems.
The hospital’s director Dr Nanthakumar Thirunavukkarasu, in a statement yesterday, said that so far, 53 hospital staff had been infected with Covid-19 and were undergoing quarantine.
“Besides that, there are also those who are on sick leave or maternity leave. This is causing us to face a shortage of manpower. However, it can be overcome by retaining the contract nurses.
“Although nurses have now started a 12-hour shift, rest leave will be given if it involves emergencies, medical matters and death,” he said.
Dr Nanthakumar said the hospital would do its best to ensure that mobilisation efforts involving 35 medical officers, 40 nurses, 25 assistant medical officers and 20 health care assistants could be achieved so that the treatment services for Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients could run smoothly.
At the same time, the hospital, he added, was also waiting for the establishment of a 100-bed field hospital run by health personnel of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Sibu Hospital to overcome the problem of lack of beds for non-Covid-19 cases.
“Currently, 13 beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Respiratory Ward are being upgraded and they are expected to be completed on October 30 while 10 beds in the Modular ICU which is still under construction are expected to be completed on October 11.
“These two wards are expected to accommodate 75 beds and this indirectly increases our capacity to overcome the shortage of bed issue,” he explained, adding that Ward 17 would open today to provide 24 beds to reduce density in the Acute Covid-19 Ward, which had a capacity of 64 beds but now had to accommodate 124 patients.
Elaborating further, he said the hospital had also outsourced to send patients to private hospitals around Sibu for elective surgery cases that had been delayed. He explained an additional allocation of RM600,000 was received on September 27 for the matter.
“To reduce patient congestion at the hospital, stable Covid-19 patients will be housed at Daro Hospital and Kanowit Hospital as well as the Covid-19 Low Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) in Daro,” he pointed out.