Private healthcare steps up for Covid-19 treatment

Despite that, discussions on private hospital charges and payment for Covid-19 treatment are still ongoing

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by BERNAMA

RAMSAY Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH) responds to the call of the government in supporting the public healthcare sector by being ready to provide necessary patient capacity and facilities to accept Covid-19 patients.

Its group CEO Raymond Chong said RSDH has already laid out infection control guidelines in case the government requires RSDH hospitals to admit Covid-19 positive patients.

“Our doctors and staff are highly skilled and equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment and expertise to carefully manage any Covid-19 situation that may arise.

“We also have multiple critical and intensive care areas at our hospitals, which allow us to adapt and manage any situations that arise,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

He added that RSDH doctors and staff are highly skilled and are prepared to handle the treatment of possible Covid-19 cases with special care that is required.

“The healthcare needs of all patients continue to remain a priority for us. We believe private hospitals can also help by providing treatment to public healthcare patients who need urgent non-Covid-19 medical care.

“This way, more beds can be released at public hospitals for treatment of Covid-19 cases,” he added.

“RSDH reassures the community that the group has all the standard operating procedures and safety protocols in place to ensure a safe environment for all our patients, doctors and staff.”

Asking on who will pay for the treatment, Chong said discussions on private hospital charges and payment for Covid-19 treatment are still ongoing at the moment.

Echoing the same sentiment, Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) told TMR that the industry will be issuing an official statement on this subject.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Takaful Association (MTA) also will not issue any statement until a final decision has been made by industry.

Aligned with the decisions and statements made by LIAM and MTA on this matter, Etiqa Insurance Bhd did not comment when contacted.

On Monday, Private Healthcare Productivity Nexus chairman Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas said private healthcare facilities are ready to accommodate Covid-19 patients per government’s instruction.

To date, Dr Jacob said the private hospitals had provided 71 units of ventilators to government hospitals nationwide, when cases in the intensive care unit and coronary care unit began to show a decline, and this matter was confirmed by Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh in a statement recently.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) is pleased that the government is recognising the important role of the private general practitioner (GP) in carrying out the national vaccination programme, hence, the association looks forward to engaging with the ministry on this plan.

MMA urged the government to maximise its access to a wider distribution of the vaccines to the population through the increased participation of private GP, which will speed up the vaccination programme.

Its president Prof Datuk Dr Subramaniam Muniandy said the government should also prioritise locations with dense populations as they carry higher risk of Covid-19 transmissions.

“Many of the private GP clinics are located in these areas, therefore, access will be quicker and more convenient for the population.

“Also, many of the patients managed by the private GPs have comorbidities which already qualify them to receive vaccines as per current plans in the national vaccination programme to prioritise vaccination of vulnerable groups,” he said in a statement recently.

Increasing private GP clinic participation in this national vaccination programme would also help the government reduce overall traffic at government vaccination sites.

Of paramount importance, he said the government must ensure that the administering of the vaccines will be carried out by qualified, trained medical personnel with no involvement of non-healthcare middlemen or agents.


Read our earlier report

Private healthcare must be roped in to aid during crisis