KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Only between six and seven out of 10 patients in critical emergency cases were treated in less than four to six hours, the Auditor-General found.
Bernama reported that according to the National Audit Report 2018 Series 1, the increase in patient arrivals of up to 95.6 per cent at emergency and trauma departments (ETD) in government hospitals, especially for non-emergency cases, was among the main reasons why the Health Ministry failed its Medical Emergency Coordinating Centre (MECC) key performance indicators (KPIs) for critical cases classified as Priority 1.
“Only 58.7 per cent to 74.5 per cent of patients were treated in less than four to six hours, and there were 917 ‘Access Block’ cases, where patients could not be transferred to medical wards,” said the Auditor-General’s report.
The report said some patients had to wait “a long time” for emergency and trauma treatment.
“This is due to workload constraints faced by the hospitals, coupled with a lack of medical equipment, limited space, and poor ICT (information communication technology) systems.
“This has affected the department in terms of providing rapid and appropriate emergency treatment services to patients.”
According to the audit report, ETDs were short of beds in the semi-critical Yellow and critical Red zones, forcing them to provide between eight and 50 extra beds and sofas that exceeded current capacity by between two and five times.
ETDs also reportedly lacked up to 108 (50.9 per cent) out of 212 medical equipment needed in accordance with the Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services Policy, while computer equipment was also insufficient.
ETDs also reportedly suffered a deficit of between 11.6 per cent and 53.1 per cent in terms of required workforce.
The report also cited the lack of emergency care experts by between 75.6 per cent and 79.5 per cent, medical personnel (41.2 to 64.6 per cent), assistant medical officers (2.6 per cent to 33.9 per cent) and trained nurses (17.4 per cent to 67.1 per cent).
The audit report recommended that the Public Service Department exempt the Health Ministry from implementing the Optimisation of Human Resource Policy of downsizing by 1 per cent.