Private hospitals lauded for shouldering burden

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KUCHING: Private hospitals in the state have been commended for their roles in assisting the government to manage the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said such gesture was in the spirit of Sarawak’s solidarity and united effort to combat Covid-19.

“I am happy to see some of the private hospitals in Sarawak are finally ready, stepping up and stepping forwards to the next level of professional and moral responsibility as medical professionals in this extraordinary time.

“This is in accepting Covid-19 positive patients who choose to be treated in private hospitals. We are in this together,” he said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

He was commenting on a statement by Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) which had called on its member hospitals in Sarawak to assist the government in managing the increasing Covid-19 cases that might overwhelm the public hospitals.

“We are grateful and we congratulate all private hospitals in Sarawak for playing their roles and doing their part in helping diagnosing PCR tests and rolling out of the vaccines. 

“During the peak of Covid-19 in May andJune, the usage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilator recorded higher numbers than now where public hospitals in Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri have been equipped with additional ICU beds.

“This is to cope with the additional critical patients. With the Delta variant surge, we should be prepared in case there are not enough ICU beds,” Dr Sim said.

On Wednesday, APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh said one private hospital in Kuching, part of a conglomerate from West Malaysia, has agreed to accept self-paying Covid-19 patients within the coming week.

“However, most private hospitals in Kuching have small bed capacity and their percentage of available beds and ICUs for Covid-19 is limited.

“The other private hospitals in the city of Kuching are in discussion to provide assistance if requested by the government.

“We hope more non-Covid patients from government hospitals can be decanted to the private hospitals in Kuching which will create space for Covid-19 patients to be treated in government facilities,” Dr Kuljit said in a statement.

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