GEORGE TOWN, Sept 19 — There is a need for more field hospitals to be set up in Penang to accommodate the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said today.
The Member of Parliament for Bagan said that Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds utilisation in Penang is currently at 96.6 percent, putting the state as the second highest for ICU beds utilisation in the country.
Lim proposed that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin look into setting up more field hospitals with more ICU beds in COVID-19 hotspots such as Seberang Jaya, Nibong Tebal and Balik Pulau.
“Penangites are still grateful for the quick completion of a field hospital comprising 96 ordinary beds and four ICU beds at the Penang General Hospital Car Park by the Armed Forces.
“However, with the ICU bed utilisation nearly hitting full capacity, Khairy should consider building more field hospitals for Penang,” he said in a statement.
On Sept 11, Khairy said that a field hospital would be built at the public hospital parking lot to accommodate more COVID-19 patients in Penang.
The Malaysian Armed Forces began the construction of the field hospital on Sept 16 with around 23 tents set up in a 2,300 sqm area and is expected to be operational soon.
Meanwhile, Lim also proposed that Khairy draw on the extra RM5 billion funds allocated to his Ministry as part of the RM45 billion fund injection to fight COVID-19 and the economic recession in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal government and Pakatan Harapan on Sept 13.
He said that the RM5 billion could help to not only conduct mass test screening nationwide but also increase manpower by taking contract doctors on a permanent basis and improve health support services such as ICU beds.