Thursday, October 1

SGH never rejected referral of Sarikei patient, says state Health director

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SIBU: Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) did not reject the referral of a critically-ill patient from Sarikei last week, said state Health director Datu Dr Zulkifli Jantan.

In fact, he said yesterday, SGH specialists were in constant consultation with their counterparts in Sibu all the time.

He was reacting to an allegation by Repok assemblyman Dr Wong Hua Seh, who claimed that SGH had refused to accept the transfer of a woman from Sibu Hospital due to inadequate ventilators.

Wong told a press conference last week that Sibu Hospital had made necessary arrangements to transport the patient using a helicopter, but SGH declined the referral.

The patient was first admitted to Sarikei Hospital about a week ago after she developed fits and went into a coma.

As there was no neurologist in Sarikei Hospital, the patient was referred to Sibu  Hospital, where she was admitted to ICU.

“Yes, she was referred to SGH on (last) Monday, but the helicopter could not fly due to bad weather. In the meantime, she has improved on the same treatment.

“It was decided then to continue the treatment in Sibu.   At present, she has improved further, and the family has also expressed that they prefer her to be in Sibu since she is improving.

“SGH never rejected her referral,” Dr Zulkifli told The Borneo Post.

He, however, admitted that the SGH’s intensive care unit (ICU) could be full at times.

“But patient referral is based on level of care needed and will not be rejected.

“SGH has bought ICU service from private hospitals when necessary.”