Private hospitals in Penang increasing bed capacity

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KUALA LUMPUR: Private hospitals in Penang have increased bed capacity to cater to Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 cases on the island and the mainland.

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The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said eight private hospitals now have 165 beds in normal wards and 22 in the Intensive Care Units (ICU) available for any patient willing to self-fund for Covid-19 treatment.

“These private hospitals will further accept 155 non-Covid-19 decanted patients from government hospitals in stages.

“This is to enable more Covid-19 patients to receive treatment within public healthcare facilities, and it will be an initial step to further augment the currently ongoing process of decanting patients,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Kuljit said the number of beds may increase in the future, depending on the capacity and capability of each participating private hospital.

He said the move to increase bed capacity was as per the request made by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin after he visited the state on Sept 11 and had various dialogues with the state government as well as the health department.

“Although the private hospitals in Penang have limited capacity compared to their counterparts in the Klang Valley, efforts to work together with public healthcare facilities have been enhanced over the weekend.

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“We are confident that this public-private partnership in Penang will help people get their treatment as quickly as possible, as the number of Covid-19 cases has been increasing the last few weeks.

“Based on our efforts in the Greater Klang Valley Task Force since August this year, private hospitals have successfully treated 2,917 decanted patients and the exercise is still ongoing without any issues,” he said.

He said private hospitals are keen to assist the government in vaccinating teens as well as frontliners.

“The National Recovery Plan (NRP) would greatly depend on the strategic approach of effective vaccination to avoid future lockdowns and closing of economies sectors.

“We hope to work together with the Health Ministry to keep the coronavirus infectivity on the low and to avoid potential emergence of new Covid-19 waves seen in many countries around the world,” he said. -NST