Wednesday, July 6

‘MoH informed of bid for autonomy in health’

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KUCHING: Minister of Housing and Local Government Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian says he has conveyed to the Ministry of Health (MoH) Sarawak government’s intention of taking over the administrative autonomy for health, together with the federal annual allocated funding.

He says this is because Sarawakians know the needs of Sarawak better than Putrajaya and is also in line with the promises of Pakatan Harapan (PH) Sarawak in its manifesto.

Dr Sim said during the meeting with the MoH, he had also stressed that national norms were not applicable to Sarawak in view of its geographical distances.

“For example, once Pan Borneo is completed, there will be an increase in motor car accidents.

“Pan Borneo Highway is almost equal distance to the North South Highway. But our orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are based mainly in Kuching while in Peninsular Malaysia, there are so many such specialists along the North South Highway,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

On development projects, Dr Sim said as at Oct 25, Health Department Sarawak had received RM51.3 million in development funds from MoH for developing its human capital, small-scale upgrading projects and medical equipment procurement.

He noted that the Petra Jaya Hospital had to undergo a re-tender process, which should be opened on Dec 24 this year, while the award letter to the successful tenderer for the construction of additional block in Miri Hospital should be out by the end of this year.

“As for the new Lawas Hospital, the tender evaluation has been resubmitted by JKR (Public Works Department) to the Federal Ministry of Finance Malaysia for approval. Moreover, the actual progress of the new Sri Aman Hospital as at Oct 29, 2019, was at 68 per cent against the scheduled 85.9 per cent.

“The contractor has been granted ‘Extension of Time No 2’ and thus, the completion date has been shifted from the previous Aug 3, 2019, to Jan 28, 2020,” he said.

Dr Sim added that construction of three new clinics had commenced this year, and as at Oct 25, the progress of works on Siburan Health Clinic (Type 3) was at 5.74 per cent, below the scheduled 5.86 per cent.

He said the current progress for Bandaraya Miri Health Clinic (Type 2) was at 0.3 per cent versus the scheduled 0.34 per cent, while the kick-off meeting for Lubok Antu Health Clinic (Type 4) was done on Oct 25.