Private hospitals urged to provide more assistance to govt hospitals

25 Mar 2020 / 20:28 H.

PETALING JAYA: Private hospitals are asked to put profits aside for now and in the name of service, support the Health Ministry in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) CEO Datuk Dr Paul Selvaraj said in this time of crisis, private hospitals, especially those run by government-linked companies, should give their utmost to assist the government given that public hospitals are called to treat the rising number of Covid-19 patients.

“Put service as priority and put aside profits for now,“ he told theSun today.

Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong suggested that private hospitals step forward to take some of the burden off the public sector by providing some sort of subsidised charges or no cost at all. They should also help with cases which are not related to the viral pandemic, fill the need for special wards, offer intensive care unit space and equipment such as ventilators and oxygen supply.

“In the best of times, private hospitals reap the benefits of the much touted Malaysian product known as ‘medical tourism’ and attract the best medical talents from the public sector.

“Now that we are in the worst of times, private hospitals don’t seem to be doing too badly either.

“According to the Affin Hwang Capital Research, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to have only a muted impact on private hospital operators as they are required to report such cases to public hospitals and the national infection centre,“ Kua said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, in response to the many questions broached of late, president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said they (private hospitals) have made available 51 ventilators to the Health Ministry.

“We will be accepting non Covid-19 cases from the Health Ministry hospitals too. Discussions on taking on cases are in the final stages,“ he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He also said the APHM and its member hospitals see this as an opportunity for the private hospitals to work with the Health Ministry and the government in facing this national crisis.

“We have the support of all private hospitals in cancelling electives and reducing non urgent consultation while some private hospitals have even started Covid-19 screening for walk-ins and drive-ins,“ he added.

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