KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed today that 33 MOH hospitals, or 25 per cent, faced high bed occupancy rates of 75 per cent and above.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said in a written parliamentary reply to Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub that MOH hospitals with specialists had greater patient loads than hospitals without specialists.
“To resolve this problem, MOH is implementing a cluster hospital initiative where three or more hospitals with at least one hospital with specialists in the same geographical area are combined under one system,” Dzulkefly said.
“All resources including human resources, facilities, equipment, and others in hospitals in the cluster will be shared and optimised to improve the quality of service. With that, the usage of beds in less utilised hospitals can be increased besides reducing congestion at hospitals with specialists.”
According to the minister, there are 25 cluster hospitals in 12 states comprising 88 MOH hospitals that make up 60.7 per cent of all MOH hospitals.
Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan have already set up clusters in all their hospitals, whereas Sabah has four cluster hospitals. Perak, Kedah and Sarawak have two cluster hospitals, while Johor and Selangor each has one cluster hospital.
“Through the cluster hospital initiative, patients can be transferred to less congested hospitals in the relevant cluster. The appropriate placement of specialists can also be done by turn at hospitals without specialists.
“Certain appropriate services including surgery can be transferred from congested hospitals with specialists to hospitals without specialists,” said Dzulkefly.