Refer non-COVID-19 patients to private hospitals without further delay – APHM

by BERNAMA / pic by ARIF KARTONO

KUALA LUMPUR – The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) today expressed hope that doctors in government hospitals will refer their non-COVID-19 patients to private hospitals for elective surgeries and procedures without further delay.

Its president, Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this followed an updated circular by the Ministry of Health (MOH) allowing the government hospitals to outsource services to private hospitals to treat non-COVID patients in order to create more treatment space for COVID-19 patients in the public hospitals.

He said that, at present, all private hospitals in this country have the capacity to assist the government in managing the non-COVID-19 patients effectively and this will allow public hospitals to exclusively treat COVID-19 to meet the current increase number of patients.

“Treatment of non-COVID-19 patients in private hospitals will be funded by the government based on the circular but patients can only be referred by their treating doctors in the public hospitals to private based on the condition of the ailment,” he said in a statement here today.

Unfortunately, he said the take up was not satisfactory as only a small number of referrals have occurred to help patients in the government hospitals who have waited for months and now close to a year to get treated in the private hospitals.

Dr Kuljit also noted that there were 31 private hospitals in Klang Valley alone which are currently managing COVID-19 patients in normal wards as well as in the intensive care unit (ICU).

However, he said there was a limitation in expanding the capacity to accept more COVID-19 patients in private hospitals due to manpower constraints, unlike in public hospitals where there are house officers, medical officers and more specialists.

The Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has recently said that elective surgeries and procedures in public hospitals around the Klang Valley would be reduced or postponed to enable more hospital beds to be reserved for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.