After Royal Rebuke, Dzulkefly Briefing Johor Sultan On Hospital Condition

Health minister to brief state ruler of Putrajaya’s efforts and costs spent on the once-burnt Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital.

PETALING JAYA, Dec 3 — Dzulkefly Ahmad said today he will be facing the Johor Sultan, when the state’s crown prince bemoaned the lack of repairs for a government hospital three years after a fire.

The health minister said he has taken note of Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s visit to the Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru Hospital (HSA) yesterday, adding that he is due to face Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar tomorrow.

“I will be able to share with him… what are our efforts and all those hiccups that we have, from 2016, from the previous administration, and also from this administration, what efforts have been (sic) and how much we have been spent.

“I’ll be more than happy to ‘menghadap Tuanku Sultan‘… for me to make a submission to him,” he told reporters after launching a mental health handbook by the Malaysian Psychiatric Association, the Malaysian Mental Health Association and Pfizer Malaysia here.

Tunku Ismail yesterday expressed disappointment that the HSA wards still showed remnants of the October 25, 2016 fire.

In a Facebook post, he said it looked as if “there has been no effort to repair or rehabilitate them”, adding that nothing has changed since the fire.

“Why are the federal government’s incentives for Johoreans and state government reduced to the extent that these wards have not been repaired even after three years?” he asked.

Dzulkefly also declined to comment on a lawsuit that has been filed by the family of a victim of the 2016 hospital fire against the government and other parties for negligence, as the case is currently in court.

He pointed out that Cabinet has decided to disclose the findings of an investigation into the cause of the fire, and expressed hope that the findings would be disclosed soon.

CodeBlue recently reported that the parents of a victim of the HSA fire — 24-year-old Neeramaladevi Chandran — had filed the suit against the director of the Ministry of Health hospital, the Johor state health director, and the government.

Chanthiran Palanisamy and Rajaswari Ramalingam accused the defendants of failure to repair facilities, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment in the hospital; failure to follow standard operating procedure in the maintenance of the building; and failure to create an efficient evacuation plan during disasters; among others.

The lawsuit came even as the Pakatan Harapan administration has yet to publish the report of an independent inquiry into the fire, over a year after the investigating committee handed its report to the Ministry of Health in June 2018.

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