Private Hospitals Offer To Help MOH Clear Backlog Surgeries — Dr Kuljit Singh

Private hospitals have assisted thousands of decanted non-Covid patients last year, when public health care services were strained with dealing with the Delta variant.

The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) is committed in assisting the government in clearing 50,000 surgical and medical procedures this year, as stated by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in a recent press statement.

Private hospitals have assisted thousands of government-funded decanted non-Covid patients during the peak of the pandemic last year, when public health care services were strained to their maximum capacity dealing with the Delta variant.

The process of transferring patients to private hospitals occurred in a very seamless manner in the Greater Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.

We are happy to continue helping the 50,000 patients in public hospitals waiting to be treated, and an in-depth discussion on the methodology should be done quickly.

The remaining patients who cannot be treated early at public health care facilities should be transferred to private hospitals at reasonable reimbursements as it was done last year.

This will help to clear the backlog at a faster rate, as it will not be realistic for public hospitals to do this on their own.

Private hospitals have the same competent consultants, specialists, and nurses as public hospitals do. More than 95 per cent of private specialists are formally trained and have worked in public hospitals.

In some parts of the country, there are more private hospitals than public hospitals, and though the total number of beds might be lesser, facilities for investigation and treatment can be made available based on the capacity and capability of the individual private hospitals.

Private hospitals also support the recent announcement of reforming the health care system and the health care financing system in the country, which has been long overdue.

We are happy to work with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on this, and also to sit on the Health Reform Commission, when it is approved by Parliament. These initial steps of treating government-sponsored patients with adequate public funding at a private hospital will be part of a new health care policy in the future.

Dr Kuljit Singh is president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM).

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