Private hospitals apply extra precautions for Covid-19 treatment

Ongoing learnings about how to manage Covid-19 patients and its treatment are currently underway


PRIVATE hospitals in Malaysia are implementing extra precautions by cordoning off separate wings of the hospitals, especially to cater to Covid-19 patients.

Osel Group chief clinical and innovative scientist Dr Kris See said most private hospitals have adopted stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) to mitigate virus transmission at the premises.

He added that most of the private healthcare consultants, including nurses and other medical personnel, are in constant webinar sessions, held by the Ministry of Health.

“Ongoing learnings about how to manage Covid-19 patients and its treatment in private hospitals are currently underway.

“Most private hospitals have also been preparing themselves against the spread of the virus within their premises,” he told The Malaysian Reserve in a phone interview recently.

The enactment of an emergency ordinance allows healthcare services to be temporarily outsourced to private healthcare systems.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said private hospitals have been preparing to contribute 1,409 beds to treat Covid-19 patients to ease the burden on overloaded public hospitals.

In a televised address, he explained that 1,344 of the beds will be in regular wards, while another 65 will be in intensive care units.

“The government had already started collaborating with 31 hospitals to outsource treatment for a fraction of non-Covid-19 patients with an allocation of RM27 million,” Muhyiddin said.

Speaking on mitigating risks among non-Covid patients, Dr See said adhering to strict SOPs in private hospitals will not only protect themselves, but also the community against the infection.

He added that the Covid-19 virus is already in the community and everybody is at risk, hence non-Covid patients are at risk everywhere and not just in the hospitals.

“I think non-Covid patients do not need to be afraid of seeking medical attention if they need to. The strictest protective measures are being employed by hospitals to ensure safety for all,” he noted.

In terms of treatment charges in private hospitals, Dr See said the discussion between the government, private healthcare organisations and insurance companies are still underway and nothing is cast in stone yet.

However, he emphasised that most private organisations are going the extra mile to ensure Malaysians receiving treatment for Covid-19 in the private healthcare system are charged a minimal amount.

“I think most have also realised the urgency of this and would not resort to taking advantage of the situation,” he noted.

Dr See reiterated that private hospitals, medical centres and medical clinics have always offered to treat low-risk Covid-19 patients since the early days of the pandemic.

However, he said Covid-19 patients were sent to designated government hospitals as they were better equipped and the doctors there are more experienced in dealing with infectious diseases.

“Lately, with the new directives, albeit within a short time-frame, private healthcare organisations have been tasked to treat Covid-19 patients,” he added.

Currently, a total of 96 out of 210 registered private hospitals nationwide have agreed to provide Covid-19 treatment during the country’s state of emergency.

“Private hospitals will operate as cluster hospitals in the public sector under the integrated Covid-19 control centre,” he added.

Read our earlier report

Private healthcare steps up for Covid-19 treatment