Saturday, August 15

Federal, state ministers agree more funds needed for Sabah healthcare


Stephen Wong

KOTA KINABALU: The State Ministry of Health and People’s Well-being will work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health to improve healthcare services in Sabah, including devolution and decentralisation of power by the federal government, said its minister Stephen Wong.

He said that during a courtesy visit he made to Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, they had wide discussions on how to improve the status of healthcare in the State and how to work together with the federal government as a team.

“Dr Dzulkefly was one of the masterminds in drafting the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, which promised the devolution and decentralisation of power by the federal government.

“The Health Minister and I have also come to terms that there is a dire need to increase the federal budget to be channeled towards health infrastructure development in Sabah,” Wong said in a press statement.

The Sandakan MP added that he and Dr Dzulkefly are also ’in sync’ on the need to remove cronyism in the awarding of projects.

Both state and federal ministers would like to source contractors who are able to deliver quality and competitive outcome in ensuring infrastructure are well built and maintained, Wong said.

During the meeting, he also indicated the urgent need to upgrade the Semporna Hospital and the Luyang Health Clinic and to increase health facilities in the rural areas.

In return, the Health Minister indicated his interest to visit Sabah to understand the current situations faced by clinics and hospitals here.

He said they are looking forward to have further discussions on how to improve healthcare facilities for the benefit and well-being of Sabahans.

Wong was accompanied in the visit by Assistant Minister of Health and People’s Well-being Norazlinah Arif, his political secretary Phoong Jin Zhe, his ministry’s permanent secretary Mohd Yassin Ibrahim, Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi and Deputy Ddirector Dr William Gotulis.