KUCHING, Sept 22 — The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) has requested its member hospitals in Sarawak mainly in Kuching to assist the government in managing the rising numbers of COVID-19 patients in the state.
APHM President Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said, as of yesterday, there were 3,732 positive COVID-19 cases reported in the state but the percentage of category four (lung infection and requiring oxygen) and category five (lung infection and on ventilator) is fortunately in single digits.
However, he said the cumulative number of categories four and five in the intensive care unit (ICU) and wards will soon increase beyond the available space and exhausting healthcare personnel within the public hospitals.
“One private hospital which is part of a conglomerate (from West Malaysia) in Kuching has agreed to accept self-paying COVID-19 patients within the next week once retrofits and approvals have been obtained.
“However most private hospitals in Kuching have small bed capacity and their percentage of available beds and ICUs for COVID-19 is limited. The other private hospitals in the city of Kuching are in discussion to provide assistance if requested by the government,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Kuljit also expressed hope that more non-COVID patients from the government hospitals can be decanted to private hospitals in Kuching which will create space for COVID patients to be treated in government facilities.
“This process of decanting had a huge success in the Greater Klang Valley with 3,187 patients receiving care in the private hospitals and currently there are about 1,000 beds available for future decanting.
“We hope private hospitals in Kuching and other towns in Sarawak would be able to follow the efforts made by the private hospitals in the peninsula both in treating self-paying COVID and decanted Non-COVID patients based on their existing capacity and capability,” he added.