KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is planning to revamp its often congested health care facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic to permanently implement safe distancing measures.
The number of patient visits to public hospitals and clinics in Malaysia has quadrupled over a decade. As many as 77 million visits were recorded last year, which is 4.5 times higher than the 17 million visits recorded in 2008.
Acknowledging that public hospitals and clinics are often crowded with patients, safe distancing could be a challenge, and so MOH has embraced health care innovation during the Covid-19 crisis to address this issue.
“As you know, in our health care facilities in MOH, whether it is a clinic or hospital, it is congested all the time. Now we are looking into how we can introduce, for example, staggered appointments and make sure that we only see the patient when it is time,” said Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference today.
“Those patients that come to the hospital or clinic, they have to wait in their car first. So, when their appointment is being called, then only will they come in. We are trying to look into a lot of ideas and innovation to make sure that we comply with the SOP, particularly in the MOH,” he explained.
Other innovative concepts that MOH is currently exploring include medicine delivery, home post-natal care delivery, and home care for stroke patients.
“We are looking into various ways to improve in terms of our services, and then bringing the services back to the community. This is important because then we can reduce the congestion in the hospital.
“When you can reduce the congestion, then you can introduce social distancing in the hospital. So, we are looking into it seriously at all levels. We hope that we will come out with a new system in place for the clinics and hospitals,” said Dr Noor Hisham.
He also noted that public transportation, health care facilities, and health care services are the main areas that would need improvements to manage the coronavirus within the community, as advised by a team of medical experts from China that visited Malaysia recently to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic.