KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – The Health Ministry today denied allegations that it was only focused on closing down Mawar Medical Centre without considering the welfare of the facility’s patients and staff.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad pointed out that Chua Lay Ping, chairwoman of Mawar Medical Centre / Pusat Hemodialisis Mawar, sent his office a letter on February 11 saying that the absence of staff would cause a lapse in treatment for dialysis patients, besides asking the ministry to relocate patients to other hemodialysis centres.
The premises had also put up a notice stating that dialysis treatments would only be provided until February 14 and asked patients to make their own plans for further treatment.
“The ministry had no choice but to act quickly to protect the interests of all patients,” Dzulkefly said in a statement.
“The ministry denies that enforcement activities were undertaken hurriedly without thinking about patient welfare and staff at the premises. In fact, actions by the premises themselves had expedited the need for enforcement.”
Dzulkefly also denied that Health Ministry officials prohibited staff at the premises from taking their personal effects and had ordered staff not to come to work on February 15.
“Many parties in the private sector and non-government organisations have come forward and offered their services and commitment to help the Ministry find the best solution so that the welfare of each patient is protected.”
Pusat Hemodialisis Mawar’s main centre is located in Seremban, with branches in other Negri Sembilan towns like Bahau, Gemas, Kuala Pilah, Lukut, Mantin, and Rantau, Pending in Sarawak, Selangor towns Sepang, Seputeh, and Seri Kembangan, and Yong Peng in Johor.
The Health Ministry ordered Mawar Medical Centre last Thursday to cease operations after revoking its license last December 14 when all of its medical specialists quit on November 1 with 24-hour notice, except one who gave one month’s notice.