KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Khairy Jamaluddin has proposed a temporary field hospital in Tawau, Sabah, to manage not just Covid-19 cases, but also to manage non-Covid procedures delayed during the pandemic.
The health minister said the Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently considering an offer from an international foundation to fund the set-up of the field hospital at Tawau’s old airport.
The field hospital is expected to have 108 beds and two operating theatres.
“If Covid-19 cases decline, this field hospital can be used to treat non-Covid-19 cases that were deferred during the pandemic while awaiting the completion of the upgrade project for Tawau Hospital,” Khairy told reporters in Tawau yesterday.
He noted that the upgrade of Tawau Hospital was only 61 per cent completed as of last month, with the estimated completion date postponed to April next year. The project was supposed to have been finished by May 25 last year, but suffered delays amid lockdowns and constraints in supply of construction materials and workers.
“However, looking at the development status and current situation, this project may require a little more time than the extended date for completion.”
Tawau Hospital’s upgrade is expected to see 154 beds, six operating theatres, a radiology department, extra operating theatres, a helipad, as well as an outpatient department.
“This project is very important because many cases in the east coast of Sabah need to be referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu. Therefore, with the provision of these new additional facilities, I am confident that many more patients can be treated in Tawau Hospital,” said Khairy.