Friday March 8, 2013
Yearly upgrade for government hospitals
By SARBAN SINGH
TAMPIN: At least five government hospitals will be upgraded into specialist centres every year to give people, particularly those living in rural areas, better access to medical experts.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said his ministry had been giving out 800 scholarships to its doctors annually, beginning last year, for them to pursue specialist courses in order to achieve this.
“We are facing an acute shortage of specialists in some areas and this has to be addressed quickly,” he said during a visit to the newly-built RM138mil Tampin Hospital.
At present, only 55 out of the 140 government health facilities nationwide are categorised as specialist hospitals.
Although the number of doctors serving the civil service numbered around 35,000, there were only 3,5000 specialists on the Govern-ment's payroll.
Liow said there was also a dire need to increase the number of specialists as patients in some areas had to travel quite a distance for expert treatment.
“The ideal situation is to have three specialists in the same field at every hospital and we hope to achieve this one day,” he said.
Liow also announced the construction of a new hospital in the neighbouring Rembau district.
“This has been long overdue. In fact, I have been made to understand that the Public Works Department had called for tenders earlier this week,” he said.
Liow thanked Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor for the quick completion of several Health Ministry projects.
Citing examples, he said the construction of the Putrajaya Cancer Institute, the Womens' and Childrens' Centre in Seremban and several projects in Kelantan and Sarawak had been completed ahead of schedule.
Shaziman, who was also present, said the PWD had set up special teams to monitor government projects, particularly the construction of health facilities.
On the new Tampin Hospital, Shaziman, who is also Tampin MP, said the ultra modern 108-bed facility was almost completed and would be handed over to the Health Ministry next month.
“Since I am the MP for Tampin, my constituents had frequently asked me why we did not have a modern hospital and had to be referred to other hospitals for treatment.
“We hope it will be quickly turned into a specialist hospital,” Shaziman added.