The current usage of patient beds, including repurposed beds in hospitals in the Klang Valley, has reached more than 85%, Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said today.
He said taking into account the need for extra beds, especially in the ICU, the health ministry would implement several immediate measures to address the unexpected high referral rate to the ministry’s hospitals in the Klang Valley.
These steps include the further outsourcing of non-Covid-19 patients to private hospitals, to allow Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) to treat more Covid-19 patients.
The capacity of ICU and non-ICU beds including equipment and facilities such as ventilators in ministry hospitals and university teaching hospitals such as Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Children’s Specialist Hospital, Universiti Putra Malaysia Hospital and Universiti Teknologi Mara Hospital will also be increased to treat more Covid-19 patients.
“Another step is to provide temporary reassignment (mobilisation) of healthcare personnel consisting of medical specialists and paramedics from other states to support services at ministry hospitals and teaching hospitals that need additional staff to treat Covid-19 patients,” he said in a statement.
Adham said another measure would be to optimise the contribution of volunteers and final-year nursing students from health ministry training institutes who are undergoing practical training, to assist healthcare personnel such as at vaccination centres (PPVs), while some experienced nurses at PPVs and Covid-19 screening centres will be reassigned to ministry hospitals.
“Through these actions, the health ministry hopes that the pressure faced by hospitals in treating Covid-19 patients can be reduced from time to time, and the country can achieve recovery soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adham said of the total Covid-19 cases being handled by HKL, 71% were Category Three to Five patients, while the remaining were Category One and Two patients.
Based on the latest records, the HKL Emergency and Trauma Department receives between 60 and 70 Covid-19 patients daily, with an average of three Category Four and Five patients who need respiratory assistance in addition to ICU treatment.
He said the high number of admissions or referrals to the HKL Emergency and Trauma Department as a Covid-19 hybrid status referral hospital, that is receiving Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients, is being managed by providing extra beds, while stable Covid-19 patients are transferred to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital and the nearby Respiratory Medicine Institute.
The increasing number of Covid-19 patients or referrals to health ministry hospitals in the Klang Valley is being addressed in a collaboration with Sungai Buloh Hospital which now has the status of Covid-19 hospital, and the Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centre at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park, which treats Covid-19 patients up to Category Four before transferring them to hospital.