KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has set up a database to monitor protective gear stock and usage in government hospitals and clinics, amid reports of shortages.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the main issue in MOH so far was the distribution and mobilisation of protective gear to facilities that are running low on personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the extent of PPE usage by health care workers.
The online database handled by officers in each state health department, hospital, and district health office (including all Klinik Kesihatan under the respective district health office) contains daily reports on the stock and use of each type of PPE in each state.
“These reports will be closely monitored by the MOH headquarters and stocks will be mobilised immediately if there is a shortage of stock at any MOH facility,” Dr Noor Hisham posted on Facebook today.
“As a way to strengthen the reporting, MOH urges anyone (including staff) with information on PPE shortage at any MOH facility (MOH department/ clinic/ hospital/ district health office) to assist MOH by directly giving information to the liaison officer at the state level for immediate checks and mobilisation, according to need and priority.”
He also urged all MOH staff to use PPE judiciously.
Dr Noor Hisham said earlier today that 224 MOH health care workers have been infected with Covid-19, including 41 staff who contracted the virus from patients with severe acute respiratory infections or whose status was unknown. As such, the Health DG told health care workers who treat confirmed Covid-19 cases to wear PPE, while other medical professionals should wear face masks when treating patients not suspected of coronavirus infection.
CodeBlue reported last Thursday doctors’ complaints about PPE shortages at three Klinik Kesihatan in Hulu Langat, Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur, forcing health care workers to ration their gear at risk of compromised safety. These public health clinics send suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients to government hospitals, besides seeing people with fever or acute respiratory infections.