KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 – The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) today urged the Health Ministry to upgrade Penang General Hospital’s cardiothoracic surgery department that has not been improved since operations in 1995.
The department — which is said to be the premier referral centre for complex cardiothoracic surgical patients from the states of Penang, Kedah, Perlis, North Perak, Kelantan and also the private hospitals — lacks infrastructure and facilities to handle an increasing number of patients, according to CAP.
“Although the number of patients has increased significantly over the years, the ward space has not increased and there is constant congestion with lack of beds and storage space,” said CAP president Mohideen Abdul Kader in a statement.
“The acute bed shortage and congestion is so critical that the cardiothoracic ward has the status of being unisex where male and female patients with central chest and leg wounds are nursed together in the same ward opposite each other.
“This is not just unacceptable from a cultural and religious standpoint but from the perspective of providing basic health care with dignity to all,” he explained.
Apart from that, infrastructure and medical assets such as beds, monitors, and electrocardiogram machines are also old and are not equipped with the latest technology.
“With the growing demand for cardiothoracic surgery and trauma care services it is only befitting that the Ministry of Health invests in the health of the nation to provide state of the art cardiothoracic surgery and trauma care facilities at the Penang General Hospital to cater to Malaysians from the northern region,” Mohideen said.