Private hospitals in M’sia reach full COVID-19 patient occupancy

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Most private hospitals, particularly in the Klang Valley, are currently unable to accept any more COVID-19 patients due to a sharp increase of such patients in their facilities in the last 14 days, said the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).

Its President Dr Kuljit Singh said all the designated beds in the COVID-19 wards and even the isolated intensive care unit (ICU) beds have been constantly occupied.

He said private hospitals are constrained on the number of beds and ICU facilities that can accommodate COVID-19 patients and the availability of specialists and nurses which further compounds the restriction.

“We hope that the public will take this shortage of beds in hospitals seriously and be responsible for making sure the spread is curtailed and all preventive SOPs (standard operation procedures) are adhered to by the public.

“The biggest fear would be if we face a healthcare shutdown because of the non-availability of beds and oxygen treatment for our citizens,” he said yesterday.

Dr Kuljit also suggests that the government decant non-COVID-19 patients to private hospitals, as an immediate step to create space for COVID-19 patients in public hospitals at the agreed cost that was accepted last year and fully funded by the government.

He added that private hospitals have actively assisted the government in co-managing this pandemic including conducting private COVID-19 screening, providing ventilators to government hospitals, offering dialysis slots, and currently vaccinating private healthcare workers and soon the public for the National Immunisation Programme.

A medical worker takes a sample for COVID-19 swab test at a hospital near Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: XINHUA