MIRI (Dec 18): The proposal to establish a second heart centre in Sarawak will be included in the Health Ministry’s (MoH) policy planning, assured Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
Speaking to the press during an official visit to Miri Hospital yesterday, he said the state is in need of a second such facility to cater to the needs of the people.
“Obviously, one of my agendas will be to look at the needs of the healthcare system in Sabah and Sarawak, including oncology services as well as expanding heart-related services here.
“For now, the one that we have in Kuching is already giving good services to the people, but if we look at Sarawak in terms of size, Sarawak does need another heart centre and therefore we will include this (proposal) into MoH’s policy planning,” he said.
He said the ministry would also be focusing on resolving the contract healthcare workers issue as well as health facilities that have been labeled as ‘sick’ projects, especially in Sarawak.
“Give us time to see and evaluate the needs through the MoH White Paper so as to give fair and equal opportunity to all Malaysians in terms of getting access to healthcare services,” he said.
To a question, Lukanisman said he was in the midst of gathering information from all departments before deciding on the next course of action on a number of ‘sick’ projects involving health facilities in Sarawak.
“There are a few ‘sick’ projects in Sarawak, namely Lawas Hospital and Petra Jaya Hospital that have taken too long to be completed. Also there are complaints regarding the health facility at Long Napir (Limbang) as well as in Long Lama (Baram).
“I will give emphasis to these projects, but I will need to meet the state health director first because I need to get more details before taking these issues to the minister and MoH.”
Meanwhile, on the construction of the new Miri Hospital extension building, Lukanisman said the project is now ahead of schedule at 43.13 per cent completion.
“This is a very good development because usually we encounter issues that cause delays in the construction of clinics or hospitals, such as Covid-19 and manpower shortage.
“But with the good planning by the contractor and Miri Hospital, this hospital is likely to be completed within the stipulated time frame,” he said.
The Miri Hospital extension building, which will have 345 new beds, is expected to be completed in December 2023.
Among those accompanying Lukanisman on the visit were Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak Women chief Zulhaidah Suboh.