KUALA LUMPUR, July 4– The current usage of patient beds, including repurpose beds in hospitals in the Klang Valley, has now reached more than 85 per cent, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said by taking into account the need for extra beds, especially in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the Ministry of Health (MOH) would implement several immediate measures to address the unexpected high referral rate to the ministry’s hospitals in the Klang Valley.
Among steps that will be implemented immediately is to further expand the outsourcing of non-COVID-19 patients to private hospitals to enable the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) to treat more COVID-19 patients.
In addition, the capacity of ICU and non-ICU beds includes equipment and facilities such as ventilators in MOH hospitals and university teaching hospitals such as Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Children’s Specialist Hospital (HPKK), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Hospital and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Hospital will be increased to treat more COVID-19 patients.
“Another step is to provide temporary reassignment (mobilisation) of healthcare personnel consisting of medical specialists and paramedics from other states to support services at MOH hospitals and teaching hospitals that need additional staff to treat COVID-19 patients,” he said in a statement, today.
Dr Adham said another measure was to optimise the contribution of volunteers and final year nursing students from the MOH training institutes who were undergoing practical training to assist healthcare personnel such as at vaccination centres (PPVs), while some experienced nurses at PPVs and COVID-19 screening centres would be reassigned to MOH hospitals.
“Through these actions, the MOH hopes that the pressure faced by the hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients can be reduced from time to time and the country can achieve recovery soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham said of the total COVID-19 cases handled by HKL, 71 per cent were category three to five patients, while the remaining were category one and two patients.
Based on the latest records, the HKL Emergency and Trauma Department receives between 60 to 70 COVID-19 patients daily, with an average of three category 4 and 5 patients who need respiratory assistance in addition to needing to be treated in the ICU.
He explained the high number of admissions or referrals to the HKL Emergency and Trauma Department as a COVID-19 Hybrid status referral hospital, ie receiving COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients were managed by providing extra beds, while stable COVID-19 patients would be transferred to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital and the nearby Respiratory Medicine Institute.
The increasing number of COVID-19 patients or referrals to MOH hospitals in the Klang Valley is being addressed in a collaboration with Sungai Buloh Hospital which now has the status of COVID-19 Hospital and the COVID-19 Quarantine and Low-risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park (MAEPS) which treated COVID-19 patients up to category four before being transferred to the hospital.
“MOH is also working with HPKK UKM, UPM Hospital, UiTM Hospital and Malaysian Armed Forces Hospital to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients,” said Dr Adham.