Our medical and health services in Sabah are in a state of crises or
chaos. Since about September 2008 we have been without a tertiary
hospital in Kota Kinabalu. Our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is truly
“Rumah Sakit”. How long more do Sabahans have to suffer? Has the
Federal government forgotten their election promises?
The problem of overcrowding has become the norm in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is so bad that some patients are forced to sleep on the floor. The building of a new hospital is no way in sight, even the purchase of the RM245 Million Sabah Medical Centre did not help, our sick loved ones have no choice but to receive treatment on the floor.
Actually the building of the Twin tower ward block at the QEH site has been on the books since 1995, but 15 years later nothing has been done. This has exacerbated the current problem of overcrowding.
Not only is there overcrowding at QEH wards, but also in QEH2 wards where 4-5 patients are put into one room meant for two patients.
There has also been many cases of patients forced to go home even though their treatment is not completed due to this overcrowding. What happened to their quality care?
Coupled to this our sick loved ones are transported around like playing musical chairs among five medical centres of QEH-QEH2(SMC)-Hospital Likas-Hospital Bukit Padang-Lingzhi Museum. Continuity of medical care is almost impossible as patients lose case notes and investigations are lost leading to repeating investigations
and more cost and discomfort to the already sick patients.
Another important consideration of the overcrowding is the nosocomial (Hospital based) infections, where due to the close proximity of patients, infection eg. aerosol or droplet are easily spread. Patients is admitted for a minor disease and get discharged with a major one.
The doctors and nurses are also forced to work in such deplorable conditions where one doctor even wrote an open letter to our Minister of Health, describing the wards are like refugee camps.But nothing
has been done.
The medical staffs are running around treating, escorting and trying to find patients that have become lost in the five medical centre medical maze.
Besides the need for a new hospital in Kota Kinabalu , there is a great need for the building of a Teaching Hospital in University Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The UMS teaching hospital was not even included in the 10th Malaysia plan, and is needed to promote medical care, to work in tandem with our government hospitals and most importantly to train our future doctors.
In line with his 1Malaysia – people first, Performance now, the people of Sabah, would like to invite our Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Najib Razak to come to see for himself the sad state of affairs in our QEH wards and how our loved ones are being treated or rather mis-treated on the floor.
By : Dr. Felix Chong Kat Fah, Sabah DAP Medical and Health Advisory Bureau Chairman.