Private hospitals in Malaysia have reached full Covid-19 occupancy and are no longer able to accept patients with the virus following the recent spike in cases.
In a statement today, the president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia, Dr Kuljit Singh, said beds in Covid-19 wards and isolated ICU beds at private hospitals are constantly being filled, reaching their maximum capacity.
Due to this, he said most private hospitals are no longer able to accept Covid-19 patients, particularly in the Klang Valley.
Private hospitals have been admitting Covid-19 patients since January following the request by the government for assistance in managing the pandemic.
They have also assisted the government in co-managing the crisis by conducting private screenings, providing ventilators to government hospitals, offering dialysis slots and vaccinating private healthcare workers at their establishments.
“We have provided beds, expertise based on capacity and capability and a few thousand patients have been treated up to today in these private settings,” Kuljit said.
However, he said private hospitals are now facing constraints in the number of beds and ICU facilities that can accommodate Covid-19 patients and the availability of specialists and nurses.
“Our priority is to treat patients with the best available care with the utmost concern for patient safety and treatment outcomes.
“We understand the government facilities in the Klang Valley and maybe in Johor are fast filling up with the current increased number of patients,” he added.
“The biggest fear would be if we face a healthcare shutdown because of non-availability of beds and oxygen treatment for our citizens.”
He suggested that the government decant non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals as an immediate step to create space for Covid-19 patients in public hospitals at the agreed cost that was accepted last year and fully funded by the government.