Wednesday, September 23

New 700-bed private-funded hospital in KK on the cards

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KOTA KINABALU: A new 700-bed hospital for the state is in the planning stages of implementation under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), said Sabah Health director Dr Mohd Yusof Ibrahim.

Speaking at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Open Day and first anniversary of it Specialists Clinic here yesterday, Yusof said that the project would be a private-funded initiative.

“God willing, under the 10MP we will be getting a new 700-bed hospital for Sabah,” he said in his speech.

According to Yusof, the Health Ministry has in general approved the project and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has also given his full support to build the medical facility.

Musa, Yusof said, had requested the Health Department to identify the area it feels suitable for the new hospital.

When asked to elaborate on the project later, Yusof disclosed that the Health Department had proposed that the new hospital be built in Bukit Padang adjacent to the Hospital Mesra there.

“We have about 20 acres of land there and have proposed that the new medical facility be built there but the implementation of the project depends on Public Works Department’s (PWD) feasibility studies because the area is quite hilly,” he said.

In his speech earlier, Yusof also disclosed that QEH will be cooperating with the University of Darwin, Australia to provide clinical attachment for its students taking their Masters in infectious diseases.

Tentatively, both parties have agreed that the students from the university will do clinical attachment with QEH for one year.

“Normally the course takes three years so after the clinical attachment, they can go back to Darwin or continue their studies in places such as Singapore or even Sungai Buloh in Peninsular Malaysia which we have also proposed,” he said.

“In fact, currently, we have students taking their Masters  in infectious diseases doing their attachment under Dr Timothy William who is the head of QEH’s Infectious Disease Unit,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yusof lamented that some of the staff at QEH have poor communication skills as they have been reported to be very rude to patients and the public.

Some attending doctors were alleged to be simply making out prescriptions without actually checking the patients, he said.

“How can we have five star facilities when we do not have five star service? Please remember that some of these people travelled a long way from the rural areas to seek treatment at the hospital and  may have spent their hard earned money to come to the hospital.

“Imagine their feeling when the attending doctor asks them what their ailment is and before they can reply, the said doctor has already written out a prescription for them,” he said.

On the QEH development, Yusof disclosed that the twin tower block with more than 600 beds are expected to be completed within 30 months.

During that time, a new car park with 250 parking bays will also be built, he added. Touching on the Specialists Clinic, Yusof said it was a long overdue part of QEH’s four-phase redevelopment and expansion plan.

The Specialists Clinic, he said, was in the Phase Two of the plan and was supposed to be built 10 years ago.

“The planning was good but the implementation was poor,” he said but added that with the Specialists Clinic, all of QEH’s specialist services can now be found under one roof.