Private hospitals treating Covid-19 patients

According to APHM, 96 out of the 210 registered private hospitals have agreed to provide Covid-19 treatment

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic credit:

PRIVATE healthcare that offers Covid-19 treatment is still able to cope in treating the coronavirus and other non-communicable diseases.

Island Hospital in Georgetown, Penang, for example has treated more than 10 patients and it had prepared an isolated ward that could admit 27 Covid-19 patients at one time.

Island Hospital COO Stephanie Lee said the hospital continues its operations normally, with added standard operating procedures (SOPs), as it is also admitting Covid-19 patients for treatment.

“While we cannot speak on behalf of other hospitals, we are still treating our regular patients, as well as new patients who come to us.

“We only cater to our patients who test positive for Covid-19 upon admission, as such, we are prepared, and will ensure that all patients including those who are non Covid-19 will be adequately catered to,” she told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

According to Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), 96 out of the 210 registered private hospitals have agreed to provide Covid-19 treatment.

Lee said the SOPs are drawn in accordance with the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines.

“At the hospital, our isolated ward is a locked ward with no visitors allowed. Leading to the isolated ward is a dedicated route with a private lift. All investigations/treatment can be rendered without the patient having cross-contact with other patients.

“Other patients will also not have access to these areas of the hospital as there will be designated nurses to the ward who will not serve at other parts of the hospital. These are some of the examples of SOPs that we strictly follow,” she explained.

Lee said the estimated cost of RM10,000 or more for a patient for 10 days from the day of testing positive only covers the isolated ward, not inclusive of any prescribed drugs and investigation/treatment.

“Patients will be under strict isolation and we are looking at daily expenses of approximately RM1,000 if they want to be isolated at the hospital rather than at home. The bill will be borne by patients themselves,” she added.

However, Mahkota Medical Centre in Melaka is currently still awaiting further guidelines from MoH to accept Covid-19 patients.

“At this point in time, we have yet to receive any Covid-19 cases and are awaiting further guidelines from the MoH.

“Once MoH has reviewed and approved our preparedness, they will advise us on our next steps. For now, we are focused on ensuring the preparedness of our hospital to accept Covid-19 patients,” its spokesperson told TMR.

Mahkota Medical Centre is focusing on ensuring the preparedness of the hospital to accept Covid-19 patients and awaiting the review and approval by MoH on its preparedness.

Meanwhile, IHH Healthcare Bhd Malaysia CEO Jean-Francois Naa said they are prepared and ready to support the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic on multiple fronts.

“Across our network of 16 hospitals comprising Gleneagles Hospitals, Pantai Hospitals and Prince Court Medical Centre, we have allocated approximately 10% of our bed capacity, including intensive care unit beds, for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

“Even though private hospitals are not built to the same scale as public facilities, we are glad to contribute our part according to each hospital’s capacity and capability,” he told TMR.

Its command centre tackles operational and clinical challenges in managing Covid-19 patients for optimal and timely care.

“We maintain close communication with MoH by sharing essential information and collaborating with their clinical experts in managing critical Covid-19 patients.

“Safety is always first in every step we take. Patients can continue with their existing care plans across IHH Healthcare Malaysia’s network, knowing that they are in a safe environment,” he stressed.

Since the start of the pandemic, IHH Healthcare Malaysia has demonstrated its preparedness to manage the pandemic.

“We executed our response plans swiftly, in line with best practices and the latest guidelines, to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff at our hospitals. These include dedicated wards for Covid-19 patients,” he said.

Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (KL), IHH Healthcare Malaysia’s flagship Pantai hospital, has also been appointed by the MoH to support the administration of Covid-19 vaccine.

Starting March 1, it has been administering vaccines for some 2,500 frontliners from private hospitals and clinics in the KL area in Phase 1 of the vaccination programme.

Once the next phase of vaccination begins, IHH Healthcare Malaysia will be more than ready to deploy its network of hospitals to assist MoH with mass vaccination for the public.

Read our previous report here

Private hospitals apply extra precautions for Covid-19 treatment