KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 – Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee Chuan How has called for public-private partnerships (PPP) with neighbouring hospitals or buildings to relieve overcrowding in public hospitals, particularly in the Perak state capital.
The first-term MP from the DAP has urged the Ministry of Health (MOH) to partner with Ar-Ridzuan Hospital in Ipoh, Perak, which is situated less than 2km away from Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB), to ease congestion and reduce waiting times for patients.
“I don’t want to deny this issue. My own cousin went there two weeks ago and fainted on the bed, waiting for six hours until the doctor gave the green light for him to go home. And this is my own cousin, not something I heard from outside. This is a true story – from my own family.
“So, I’m not blaming anyone, and we know that the membership and workforce in our hospitals have always been inadequate. They are exhausted, tired, and overworked. But we know this is a legacy problem, so we don’t want to blame anyone. We want to find a solution,” Lee said during his debate on Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
“HRPB, Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, is not only a hospital for Ipoh but also for the five Ipoh parliamentary constituencies and the entire Perak state.
“I don’t just want to raise the issue, but I want to propose a solution. When we talk about hospitals with not enough staff, beds, and facilities, I would like to ask the MOH to consider a PPP with the nearest hospital.
“I’m not sure, and I haven’t had a deep discussion with Ar-Ridzuan Hospital, which used to belong to the Perak Islamic Religious Council. However, I don’t know if the shares have changed hands recently. But if possible, I would like to suggest a PPP with Ar-Ridzuan as a destination hospital for patients decanted from HRPB,” Lee said.
CodeBlue previously documented how critically ill patients, including ventilated cases, are stranded for up to six days in HRPB’s emergency department for ward admission, due to insufficient critical care beds and staff.
Lee said if the proposal is not viable, the MOH should then consider using a nearby federal building located near HRPB’s mortuary, which he believes is currently underutilised, as an extended facility that could offer basic health care and treatment services.
“If this proposal is not feasible for any reason, I suggest having a nearby federal building, which I would like to refer to as ‘underutilised,’ that could serve as a hardware infrastructure or a basic health care and treatment facility for patients around Ipoh, actually Perak, that we can at least address in the near future.”
Lee also suggested that the MOH explore options for medical treatment and care that can help reduce the time spent on washing and wound care.
“I urge the MOH and the government not only to build new hospitals, upgrade health clinics that are desperately needed, and empower primary care, but also to look at the existing options for medical treatment and care to reduce the time spent on washing and wound care.”