HKL is the crown jewel among Malaysia’s public hospitals


ONE of the oldest public hospitals in Malaysia’s capital is Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). It was developed in 1870 as a district hospital comprising three wards — the Tai Wah Ward, the Choudhry Ward and the Malay Ward. In 1920, it was upgraded to 25 wards (first class, second class and third class).

The development of HKL involved four phases. In Phase 1, from 1962 to 1968, the Maternity Hospital, North Ward Block, Radiotherapy Department and hostels for staff were built. 

Phase II (1968-1972) saw the addition of the South Ward Block, Neurology Institute, Surgical Block, Radiology Block, National Blood Transfusion Centre 

and more hostels. In Phase III (1972- 1973), the specialist clinics, Outpatient Department and doctor’s hostel were constructed. 

There were two phases under Phase IV — Phase IV-A and B. In Phase IV-A (1973- 1974), the trainee nurses hostel and clubhouse were added, while the Orthopaedic Institute, Urology Institute, Artificial Limb Centre and Radiology Block were built in 1975 under Phase IV-B. 

The last phase of HKL was completed at the cost of RM77 million. 

HKL started functioning as a teaching hospital for UKM medical students in 1973. Between 1986 and 1988, repairs and refurbishment of the old building (Wooden Block) were performed. The 

Paediatric Institute was constructed in 1989-1992, while Phase II in upgrading of the Institute of Radiotherapy, Oncology and Nuclear Medicine was done in 1994 till 1997. 

In 2013, the Specialist Complex & Ambulatory Care Centre (SCACC) was completed located along Jalan Pahang and next to Institute of Medical Research (IMR). The building consists of 16 clinical departments and support services such as pharmacy, pathology, radiology, Central Sterile Supply Unit and allied health services. The SCACC provides 30 beds for daycare patients, 184 consultations rooms, seven seminar rooms and CRC room. 

To ease parking woes, a seven-storey car park was opened to the public on Feb 15, 2015. Located near the Maternity Hospital, the building also houses a gymnasium, tennis court, cafeteria and PABX building. It was built with light parking system and automated calculation of available space, and panic button for security purposes. 

HKL now has 53 different departments and units. It is the largest hospital under the Ministry of Health and considered to be one of the biggest in Asia. It is a government tertiary referral hospital, located on 150 acres (60.7ha) of prime land with 83 wards and 2,300 beds. 

HKL has a huge staff of 7,000 workers with almost 100 professions in various fields and disciplines.

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition