No economic recovery without proper protection

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: The additional expenditure of RM45 billion proposed for Covid-19 support measures under the Temporary Measures for Government Financing [Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)] (Amendment) Act 2021 must be spent properly to strengthen the healthcare system.

“There is no economic recovery without proper health protection,” emphasised Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct 12).

He suggested a number of key healthcare aspects that the additional expenditure should focus on in order to control the current Covid-19 pandemic and also to prepare for any possible surges in cases.

“This covers the strengthening of ‘FTTIS+V’ (Find, Test, Trace, Isolate, Support, and Vaccinate),” he said.

He said strengthening ‘Find’ meant strengthening the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system, while strengthening ‘Test’ related to the national testing strategy by reducing the price of test kits and incentivising reporting.

With regard to bolstering ‘Trace’, he emphasised the integration of technology, whereas ‘Isolate’ required clear home quarantine standard operating procedure (SOP) and home surveillance strategy.

Dr Yii said enhancing ‘Support’ involved oximeters, test kits, fiscal help, and mental health support, while strengthening ‘Vaccinate’ meant integrating the Covid-19 vaccine into the main immunisation programme.

“(The fiscal injection should also cover) increasing intensive care unit (ICU) beds and incorporating a strategy for modular and field ICUs.

“At least RM200 million should be set aside for decant patients from public hospitals to private hospitals in case of a surge in cases,” he said.

In addition, he said there should be a comprehensive post-pandemic mental health strategy.

In his Facebook post, he shared that he had had the opportunity to debate on the aforementioned Bill.

“I stressed that this amount must be spent properly, specifically, targeted, efficiently, and effectively to make sure there is no wastage and improper enrichment, and to make sure people on ground are properly assisted.”