KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — The designs of future hospitals in the country need to be changed so as to be suitable for facing unprecedented events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said this was especially so in the current new normal situation, which requires care in terms of sanitation, personal hygiene and, most importantly, prevent the spread of diseases in hospitals.
“For COVID-19, with new designs for hospitals, including high-rise buildings that we have already approved for construction in Malaysia, we also need to look at elements where every facility needs to have an area where temperature can be detected.
“One of the most important things is that we need negative pressure rooms so that there will be no incident of infection spread among patients and we can control the cleanliness element in the hospitals, including in operation theatres,” he said after his keynote address at the ‘Strategy and Development 2021: Future Hospital’ forum here today.
Earlier, in his speech, Dr Adham said the ministry had also embarked on the production of the “Handbook of Technical Design Reference for Disaster Preparedness in Setting Up New High-Rise Hospitals” to help applicants who plan to build high-rise health facilities.
This, he said, was due to various reasons, such as escalating land prices, affordability and accessibility to medical facilities.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham said that 77 million patients visited government hospitals and clinics compared to 17 million in 2008, adding that the figure included those who visited the healthcare facilities repeatedly within a year.
He also admitted that COVID-19 had contributed to the drastic increase.
He said that to prevent overcrowding in hospitals, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had also created Cluster Hospitals and optimised hospitals to be fully used to accommodate the large number of patients.