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Election looms but hospital not ready

KOTA KINABALU, 10 April 2013: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) is demanding the chaotic and depressing situation plaguing health care services in the state be addressed without further delays.

SAPP Information Chief Chong Pit Fah said health care services in Sabah have deteriorated to its lowest following the declaration that the towers of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 (QEH 1), was unsafe on 24 October 2008.
"It's almost five years but the health care services here have never been improved and the most saddened part was the delay in the completion of the new towers.

"The new towers were supposed to be completed by December 2012 but still not completed until today.

"Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1 is the only referral general hospital for Sabah, Labuan  and some parts of Sarawak but the delays have in many ways pose difficulties to patients seeking major treatments," he said.

On 8 March 2011, Sabah health director Dr Mohd Yusof Ibrahim said the construction of the new towers with a total 660 beds should be ready by the end of 2012.

Based on the schedule of 30 months under the contract, the entire demolition of the unsafe towers and construction of the new towers project would end by December 2012.

Pit Fah reminded that the longer it takes for the Government to come up with an effective solution to the QEH1 crisis, more costs would be incurred.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had revealed that it was estimated to cost the Government a whopping RM70 million a year, to relocate and 'outsource' the QEH 1 patients, as a short-term measure to deal with the crisis.

He added that the Government was indecisive in tackling the crisis when taking nearly seven months for the Prime Minister to announce the allocation amounting to RM245 million on 5 May for the purchase of the second Sabah Medical Centre (SMC) in Luyang.

He went on saying that QEH 1 patients are being relocated to the other district hospitals and yet the Government, both at the Federal and State levels still could not come out with any effective-and-comprehensive solution to the poor health care services here.

Pit Fah said patients continue to suffer while their lives are in danger.

He lamented that such unnecessary inconveniences has caused long waiting lists, increasing suffering of patients awaiting much needed surgeries.

He went on saying that hospitals here are short of prescriptions and even had to supply patients with generic drugs, inferior quality medicines.

He said it is certainly do not make sense when the government could afford to disburse RM500 to every household head and RM250 to all single Malaysians aged 21 and above under the BR1M but could not afford quality medicines.

Pit Fah said he also received many complaints that hospitals advised patients to buy quality medicines at registered pharmacies because such were unavailable.

He also said that hospitals are supplying prescriptions lasted for two weeks instead of one month, which forced patients to come back twice every month.

He said such practice was unwise to the elderly patients and those living far from hospitals.

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