HUKM Emergency Department Overwhelmed, Only Critical Cases Accepted For Now

Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM) UKM is currently only accepting critical (Red Zone) cases at its emergency department until further notice, due to a surge of patients and difficulties in ward admission at the university hospital.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 – Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM) UKM Hospital announced yesterday that an unmanageable surge of patients to its emergency department has forced the university hospital to restrict entrance to only critical cases.

“We wish to inform you that HCTM is facing a significant increase of patients at the emergency department and is also facing hindrances to ward admission of patients,” HCTM director Dr Razman Jarmin said in a statement posted on its Facebook page yesterday evening.

“In line with that, HCTM management has agreed to restrict the emergency service temporarily until further notice. For the time being, only critical emergency cases (Red Zone) will be accepted at the emergency department. Patients with non-critical cases are advised to seek treatment at other nearby hospitals.

“HCTM is taking all measures to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Any development will be announced from time to time.”

No updates have been posted since yesterday’s announcement at the time of writing.

Ministry of Health (MOH) staff have long complained about severe understaffing and a lack of beds that cause patients to be stranded for days in the emergency departments of large MOH hospitals nationwide; some medical experts have also said that this problem extends to university hospitals. 

According to KKMNow’s website, which only tracks MOH hospitals, about 80.1 per cent of non-critical hospital beds in Selangor are currently occupied, among the highest in the country. Serdang Hospital is running at over-capacity of its non-critical beds at 101.5 per cent.

The utilisation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in MOH hospitals is also very high in Selangor at 78.8 per cent. Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) is running at over-capacity of its critical care beds at 112.5 per cent.

Yesterday, Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi, after making a surprise visit to Sultanah Aminah Hospital Johor Bahru, said that the public hospital is among the busiest in Malaysia, with 600 daily patients at its emergency department. He also highlighted a shortage of health care workers, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, and health care assistants (PPK).

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