KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 –Private healthcare facilities are ready to accommodate COVID-19 patients, as earlier directed by the government, Private Healthcare Productivity Nexus (PHPN) chairman Datuk Dr. Jacob Thomas said.
Dr. Jacob said the private hospitals had provided 71 units of ventilators to government hospitals nationwide when cases in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Coronary Care Unit (CCU) began to show a decline, and this matter was confirmed by the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) president, Datuk Dr. Kuljit Singh in a statement recently.
He said private healthcare providers had always supported the government in dealing with any healthcare-related situation in the country, more so when there was a surge in daily COVID-19 cases.
“In addition, non-COVID-19 patients, such as those needing dialysis and surgery, were transferred to private hospitals. This was to reduce the risk of infection and at the same time, increase ward and bed capacity in government hospitals,” he said in a statement.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba in a statement on Jan 28 said, engaging private hospitals to manage COVID-19 patients was among the steps taken by the ministry to address the increasing number of cases.
Meanwhile, Dr Jacob said among the measures taken by PHPN in assisting the government, were to provide screening centres and conduct swab tests on foreign workers at private hospitals and so far 130 private facilities have set up COVID-19 screening centres.
“PHPN also acted fast when the country was hit by the pandemic by creating the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to encourage private sector involvement and improve the quality of health services provided by the government,” he said.
He said these initiatives were aimed at helping to reduce hospital congestion caused by COVID-19 patients who are now beginning to swamp government health facilities.
He said with systematic and holistic approach to change, private hospitals would be able to make optimum use of resources such as equipment, technology, expertise and healthcare staff.
“All these will contribute to increase in productivity in government hospitals where the frontline workers are in a challenging situation and being faced with physical and mental stress,” he said.
PHPN is a productivity increase initiative led by the private sector and supported by Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC).