KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 –There is an urgent need to set up a ‘Field ICU’ dedicated to the management of critically ill patients at Kepala Batas Hospital in Penang, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the Health Ministry (MOH) felt this was necessary following the increasing need for COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds as the bed utilisation rate has reached over 100 per cent.

“MOH also found that ICU patient admission in Penang has increased by more than 45 per cent over the past two weeks and this upward trend is expected to continue, especially when there are new clusters involving nursing homes and so forth.

As such, Dr Noor Hisham said this morning, he had the opportunity to pay an official visit to Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital to observe a dry run of the ‘Field ICU’ ahead of its actual set up at Kepala Batas Hospital.

After the dry run session, he said Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) Headquarters – Health Services Division medical director Maj Gen Datuk Dr Mohammad Amirrudin Hamdan gave a briefing in preparation for the launch of the ‘Field ICU’ construction.

Dr Noor Hisham said also present at the  session was a delegation from the ministry’s Medical Programme and the Engineering Services Division.

The ‘Field ICU’ to be set up at Kepala Batas Hospital will be adopting the modular integrated concept, capable of providing treatment for up to 27 critical COVID-19 patients who require respiratory assistance as well as other ‘life support’ equipment.

“In addition the MAF will also set up a modular laboratory and a modular radiology unit to provide clinical support services to critically-ill patients in the ‘Field ICU’,” he said in a post on his Facebook page today.

He also thanked Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, MAF Health Service Division director Lt Gen Datuk Dr Md Amin Muslan and staff of Tuanku Mizan Armed Forces Hospital for their cooperation in the construction of the ‘Field ICU’ at Kepala Batas Hospital.

“May these efforts assist MOH in providing the best treatment to critically ill COVID-19 patients in Kepala Batas and the surrounding areas, thereby reduce the fatality rate in Malaysia,” he said.


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