KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 – Sungai Buloh Hospital has finally restarted non-Covid health services that were suspended for more than two years since March 10, 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Sungai Buloh Hospital – a Selangor public facility that had been solely designated to treat the coronavirus as the country’s main Covid-19 hospital during the pandemic – will now be a hybrid hospital, treating both Covid-19 and non-Covid.
“At the height of operations, Sungai Buloh Hospital accommodated more than 2,000 Covid-19 patients at a time and as of yesterday, 92,874 Covid-19 patients were treated in this hospital throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) agreed to resume non-Covid services at Sungai Buloh Hospital in light of the low numbers of moderate and severe Covid-19 cases in the country, and low usage of health care facilities for Covid-19 in the Klang Valley.
Covid-19 hospital admissions and utilisation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients in the Klang Valley have been on the decline since mid-March, in line with the general downward trends for the whole country.
“In line with the country’s strategy during the transition to Covid-19 endemicity, MOH will always monitor and prepare to provide medical services particularly for Covid-19 cases, including critical care services based on MOH’s Strategic Plan for Covid-19 Management if there is any increase in cases in this country,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
Infectious disease physician Dr Benedict Sim Lim Heng from Sungai Buloh Hospital previously said in April 2021 that some non-Covid patients diverted from his hospital during the pandemic ended up dying when they couldn’t get treatment.
He also said the 900-bed Sungai Buloh Hospital was a very busy facility prior to February or March 2020, treating neurosurgical patients and people with dengue, HIV, and for other surgeries.
“When Hospital Sungai Buloh converted to a full Covid hospital, all these patients had to go elsewhere and understandably, there’ll be some patients actually at disadvantage because this whole Covid thing has taken up a lot of resources, space, and they get left behind.
“Some of the cases have even resulted in death. So there are other indirect causes of deaths due to this Covid outbreak,” Dr Sim said.