The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), with the cooperation of Penang’s major private hospitals, have raised the number of beds for Covid 19 and decanted non-Covid-19 patients.
This effort comes after a request made by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who visited Penang on September 11, after having various dialogues with the Penang state government and state health department.
Covid-19 patients who are willing to self-fund for treatment at private hospitals in Penang now have the option of eight private hospitals on the island and mainland to choose from, with a total of 165 normal beds and 22 ICU beds. The number of beds for this purpose may increase in the future, based on capacity and capability of each of the participating hospitals.
Private hospitals in Penang will also accept in stages 155 decanted non-Covid-19 patients from public hospitals to enable more Covid-19 patients to receive treatment in public health care facilities.
This will be a crucial step to augment the current ongoing process of the decanting of patients. Private hospitals in Penang might have limited capacity when compared to their counterparts in the Klang Valley, but they will still work together with public hospitals to enhance overall health care capacity.
We are confident that this public-private partnership in Penang will help people to get treatment as quickly as possible, since the number of infected Covid-19 patients has increased in the last few weeks.
Judging by efforts in the Greater Klang Valley since August this year, private hospitals have successfully treated 2,917 decanted patients, and this exercise is still ongoing, without any major issues.
Private hospitals are also keen to assist the government in the vaccination of adolescents. and also booster dosages for frontliners.
The National Recovery Plan will greatly depend on an effective vaccination campaign, so that further lockdowns can be avoided. Our hope is to work together with the Ministry of Health to keep the infectivity rate of the Covid-19 virus low, and to avoid any potential emergence of new waves as seen in other countries.
Dr Kuljit Singh is president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).
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