KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — The medical gas supply in the National Leprosy Control Centre (PKKN) at Sungai Buloh Hospital has been upgraded to help speed up the treatment of COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulties.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the PKKN is currently utilised as the step-down care centre for COVID-19 cases, especially in categories one and two which did not require intensive care unit (ICU) treatment, as well as an outpatient clinic.
“However, to ensure that we have a treatment centre with sufficient medical gas supply for each bed, we have invested in upgrading eight wards in the PKKN.
“This will help speed up the treatment for COVID-19 patients who were having breathing difficulties so that they can recover faster,” he told reporters after the launch of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Complex and PKKN Medical Gas Supply Upgrading Project at Sungai Buloh Hospital near here today.
Also present was Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Earlier in his speech, Khairy said the project to upgrade the medical gas supply was part of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) efforts in improving public health facilities.
“A lot of people ask what the MOH is doing during the pandemic period to ensure that the public health system can accommodate the new wave of COVID-19, many experts say we are not doing anything to improve the health system.
“Now we have a medical gas system provided in eight wards in PKKN which was not available before,” he said.
The RM4.8 million project began on Aug 16 last year and was fully completed on Oct 11 the same year.
The project provides a medical gas system in all eight wards (with 17 beds each), a 10,000-litre Vacuum Insulated Evaporator tank, four-bar medical air and vacuum systems.
He said the project also involved upgrading the water supply system in the eight wards, including four water tanks with a capacity of 8,000 litres each.
Meanwhile, Khairy said the construction of the RM7.5 million MRI Complex which was completed on Nov 1 last year was not only for patients at the Sungai Buloh Hospital but also to meet the needs of nearby district hospitals such as Shah Alam, Tanjung Karang and Sabak Bernam hospitals.
“This MRI project replaces the old MRI centre that has been operating for the past 17 years. Currently, the waiting period for patients requiring MRI is quite long, which may take up to eight weeks for for neurological examinations, and three weeks for paediatrics cases.
The new MRI Complex at the Sungai Buloh Hospital Radiology Department is capable of testing up to 20 patients in a day, excluding patients who require an immediate medical examination.