by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MANY private and stand-alone hospitals will be sending trained staff nurses to selected government hospitals in the Klang Valley to assist with the managing of Covid-19 patients.
The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said this is the first step and private hospitals will be assisting government hospitals with other medical personnel at a later stage.
“We have urged our members to be prepared to accept non-Covid-19 patients decanted from the government hospitals so that there will be more capacity to treat Covid-19 patients in the public healthcare facilities.
“Our hope is that the decanted patients are equally distributed to all private hospitals to give the best care and treatment, and it will be fully paid by the government as per the Emergency Ordinance,” he said in a statement yesterday.
This is in response to the Health Ministry’s (MoH) request for APHM to seek help from its members to provide nursing, medical officers and specialists to work in the public hospital facilities.
According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, the current usage of patient beds, including repurposed beds in Klang Valley hospitals, have now reached more than 85%.
“By taking into account the need for extra beds, especially in the intensive care unit, the MoH would implement several immediate measures to address the unexpected high referral rate to the ministry’s hospitals in the Klang Valley.
“Among the steps that will be implemented immediately is to further expand the outsourcing of non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals to enable Hospital Kuala Lumpur to treat more Covid-19 patients,” he said in a statement recently.
Dr Kuljit said private hospitals have been assisting the country since last year in managing the pandemic by providing ventilators, conducting Covid-19 testing and treating patients since January this year.
“Additionally, large private hospital groups like IHH Healthcare Bhd, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Sunway Bhd and Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn Bhd have been actively involved in Covid-19 vaccinations in their hospitals and mega vaccination centres.
“These private hospitals are also very short of manpower as the involvement in these activities have stretched their human resources too,” he added.
Regardless of this difficulty, private hospitals will still support the government in managing this situation, Dr Kuljit said.
Private hospitals will further assist the government to ramp up the 12 million doses of vaccines that are expected to be received this month.
Currently, over 100 private hospitals are assisting in vaccination under the guidance of protect health with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP).