Completion of clinic’s upgrading project set to be behind schedule

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NEARLY DONE: The new treatment room at Tanah Puteh Clinic in Pending.

MORE TO GO: Men are seen working on the block for mother and child health services at Tanah Puteh Clinic.

INFORMATION: The sign placed near the entrance of Tanah Puteh Clinic.

KUCHING: The project to upgrade Tanah Puteh Clinic which includes building two new blocks — one as treatment room and another for mother and child health services — seems to be falling behind schedule.

Started on April 15 this year, the project costing under RM500,000 is expected to be completed on Aug 4 as shown on a sign ‘Projek Khas Menteri Kesihatan Malaysia…’ (Special Project of Health Ministry Malaysia) placed near the entrance of the clinic in Pending here.

A visit to the clinic yesterday noted that the treatment room was almost fully completed while the block for mother and child health services still had more than 10 per cent to go.

Despite the sign showing Aug 4 (a Sunday) as the completion date, state Health director Datu Dr Zulkilfi Jantan earlier on said the project would be completed by September or October.

An officer at the clinic said he was in the dark as to when the project would be completed.

“Hopefully with the completion of the new blocks, congestion at the clinic will be relieved. The clinic’s mother and child health services, which is currently at the first floor, will be moved to the new building.

“The treatment room is almost completed and we are waiting to move in the equipment. It is meant for surgical procedures, attending to emergency cases and certain investigations,” said the officer, requesting anonymity, when met at the clinic.

He added that among others the mother and child health services would offer home nursing, pap smear and pre and post natal care.

Having served at Tanah Puteh Clinic for seven years, he said the last upgrading work done was on the clinic’s laboratory a couple of years ago.

He also admitted that several patients had complained of the long wait at the clinic and the limited parking bays.

“The complaints come on and off,” he said, pointing out that the clinic serves about 500 patients a day.

Presently, Tanah Puteh Clinic has one specialist, six doctors, 26 nurses and one ambulance. The clinic has been offering health services since 1977 and it closes on weekends.

On June 17, Dr Zulkifli said the upgrading project was 40 per cent completed and expected to be fully done by September at the soonest.

The on-going work was supposed to be done two years ago after former Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai visited the clinic on April 7, 2011 in conjunction with the 10th state election.

Early this year, SUPP secretary-general Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian, who was the BN-SUPP candidate for Pending, conceded that the upgrading work was delayed due to technical problems.

Dr Sim, who was also present during Liow’s visit at the clinic, added that the project was hit with some “design problems and engineering specification issues” that required more time to resolve.