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Sarawak politician castigates Health Minister for ‘poor leadership’ in fight against Covid-19

29 Mar 2020 / 09:23 H.

KUCHING: Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (pix), president of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), criticised the approach taken by Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, in leading the nation’s fight overall fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“His approach towards containing the pandemic has been far from decisive and professional,’ he said in a statement.

“The fight against the pandemic is a race against time. The Minister of Health must be aware of his responsibility and be more thoughtful and decisive during this time.”

Tiong cited the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare frontliners as one of the bungles by the Health Ministry.

“I understand, the Health Ministry has claimed that the equipment must adhere to need Malaysia medical standard.

“I wish to ask the Health Ministry, has the Malaysian healthcare system any experience in dealing with Covid-19?”

Tiong said the Health Ministry should have imported equipment and supplies from China at the beginning of this pandemic.

Adham had also damaged his own reputation by advocating drinking warm water to fight Covid-19 recently which drew derision from the medical fraternity and dent public confidence in his competence to lead the nation’s healthcare Tiong added.

“I am dismayed to see that it needed Malaysia’s Foreign Minister to request China for help, to which China agreed.

“It should have been Adham who requested their Government’s help early on. Our Ministry of Health should have held government-to-government talks with China since day one to seek their medical expertise and support and invited their medical professionals to Malaysia to guide our local teams.”

Tiong added that he had lost count of the number

of family members who expressed their worry and feelings of helplessness for their children who are medical staff working on the frontline against Covid-19.

“They are called on to serve and save the country and its people but our country do not even provide them with complete protective equipment and other related medical support and protection.”

However, Tiong believes the task of procuring medical protective equipment should not the concern for the Ministry of Health as it should instead focus on how to improve the country’s defenses and controls against the spread of the pandemic as quickly as possible.

The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) should be responsible for the purchase of medical equipment, resources and securing funding, so as to avoid red tape in the payment approval process.

However, Tiong lauded the performance of Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham who seemed to be working alone and leading the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. — TheBorneoPost

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