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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 -- Private hospitals have expressed their full commitment to assist the government in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, based on their capabilities and capacity.
Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said that he had met with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin recently to express his assurance.
Dr Kuljit, when contacted through Bernama TV’s ‘Malaysia Petang Ini’ programme today, said private hospitals were able to treat COVID-19 patients, especially categories one to three, but the number would not be as many as in government hospitals due to constraints in terms of facilities and human resources.
“However, if the patient falls into category four or five in need of intensive care (ICU) and when there is a slight problem, private hospitals may not have enough ICU beds. If they have an ICU but they have to be isolated from other patients and that is the problem,” he said.
He also praised the cooperation given by government hospitals which provide support and assistance to private hospitals, including providing online training and hands on training in providing related treatments.
Apart from that, private hospital staff are also given the opportunity to go to Sungai Buloh Hospital to see for themselves how COVID-19 patients get treatment, he said.
Yesterday, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali said that the Emergency Management Technical Committee agreed that public hospitals, including university hospitals, Armed Forces hospitals, and private hospitals, operating on a hybrid basis, will operate based on the concept of cluster hospitals under the COVID-19 Integrated Control Centre.
Mohd Zuki also said that the mechanism to cover the treatment costs for COVID-19 patients at private hospitals by insurance companies is being studied by the Finance Ministry, Health Ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia and the insurance industry.
As of Jan 25, 2021, there are 210 licensed private hospitals, of which 129 private hospitals offer inpatient services dealing with internal medicine. Of the total, 96 private hospitals have agreed to provide Covid-19 treatment, where the total number of (inpatient) beds (provided) so far is 1,252, as well as 65 ICU beds, and 54 ventilator machines.