Extended operating hours of more large public clinics could reduce hospital crowding

19 Jul 2019 / 21:20 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Extending the operating hours of large public clinics (KK) across the country can be seen as an alternative to reduce the congestion of patients in most government hospitals.

Malaysian Medical Association President Dr N. Ganabaskaran said the extension of operating hours at some KK has proven to be able to reduce congestion at some busy hospitals.

He also suggested that redistribution of manpower was needed with decentralization of services away from busy Emergency and Trauma Departments (ETDs).

“The extended hours in bigger Klinik Kesihatan, for example KK Kuala Lumpur, have taken a small burden away from the ETD of HKL (Hospital Kuala Lumpur), but this needs to be extended to all KK in the country with an increase in the services provided.

“As such if the primary care services are invested in and improved, the workload in the hospitals can be reduced,” he told Bernama.

The Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Series 1 which was released on Monday, stated that the increase in patient arrivals of between 5.7 and 95.6% at ETDs, workload constraints faced by the hospitals, coupled with a lack of medical equipment, limited space, and poor ICT systems have affected the department in terms of providing rapid and appropriate emergency treatment services to patients.

The reports further revealed that ETDs also experienced a deficit of 11.6 to 53.1% in terms of workforce required based on the Workload Indicators of Staffing Need 2010.

Dr Ganabaskaran added that the manpower needs of the healthcare system had to be revised as most of the existing requirements had increased but were not able to be met, despite the increase in services rendered.

“The manpower requirements are still based on numbers used 20 years ago or even more. Most hospitals have used up their entire position allocations but the actual manpower is still short of optimum to meet the increase in the number of services we provide for the health of the people.

“The issue is not the lack of manpower but the lack of positions available. There are many graduates awaiting postings and positions but no availability given to them,” he added.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad through his statement on Twitter said the ministry will continue to improve health care delivery and systems to the public.

“I welcome the findings of AG’s Report 2018. Underfunding is key to perennial problems of health care delivery. Despite limited resources and increasing workload, staff working hard.

“MOH (Ministery of Health) will continue to enhance HC delivery through efficient spending and ‘Innovation’,” he tweeted on Tuesday. — Bernama

email blast