Sarawak Wants Autonomy In Health, Sarawakian Priority For Housemanship

Kuching needs specialist medical centres, says Dr Sim Kui Hian.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Sarawak minister Dr Sim Kui Hian has called for administrative autonomy and greater funds for health care in the state.

“Administrative autonomy as in we determine how many specialists (the state required), we determine how many medical officers, how many housemen and we create the post,” the Sarawak minister of local government and housing said during Malaysian Medical Association Sarawak branch’s 47th anniversary dinner, as reported by The Borneo Post.

“We want to determine how we run the medical service in Sarawak.

“People tend to forget that Sarawak is as big as Peninsular Malaysia. In rural medical service, whether you like it or not, we need to make healthcare accessible (to the people of the state),” he said.

Dr Sim also requested that the positions of housemen in public hospitals in the state be prioritised for Sarawakians, as there are greater chances for local medical graduates staying back and serving in the state than those from other parts of Malaysia.

Separately, he also objected to the consideration of merging public health clinics in the state with a lower volume of patients.

“So maybe we can consider to whether to open on certain days or go mobile or not. We need to re-look (at the suggestion of) closing down (those clinics) as it is not a good option in terms of accessibility,” he opined.

Dr Sim further stated that Kuching does not need another general hospital, but what is needed more are specialist health care institutions, such as a heart centre, cancer centre, and a women’s and children’s hospital.

“We do not need another general hospital because such hospitals have limitations in terms of equipment and focus on how far we can go on,” he said.

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