According to its director-general, the Health Ministry (MOH) is now recruiting more healthcare workers to beef up its frontline in facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the MOH is currently in talks with private healthcare providers and looking at working together with them to increase Malaysia’s healthcare system capacity, which is already stretched at this juncture.
Speaking to reporters today, he said the ministry needs manpower to be able to expand its operations for Covid-19 cases.
“Like in the Sungai Buloh Hospital, its intensive care unit has now been expanded to 60 beds.
“But we need more staff to open more space. We have the capacity, but we are short of manpower. And we are looking at how to increase our manpower.
“The JPA (Public Services Department) is now offering more posts for nurses and other positions. We are in the process of recruiting more manpower,” he said during the ministry’s press conference on Covid-19 situation in Putrajaya this evening.
It was revealed that the lack of human resources at Sungai Buloh Hospital has led to some of the Covid-19 patients having to be transferred to other facilities temporarily.
As of today, there were 41 positive patients in need of ventilators placed at several non-Covid hospitals.
According to Noor Hisham, the Sungai Buloh Hospital has the capacity to increase its ICU capacity up to 120 beds.
“But we need the manpower first,” he said.
The director-general said that the admission of Covid-19 patients into MOH hospitals that were supposed to focus on non-pandemic cases had opened up another problem for the health authority.
“Our concern is that once you take in Covid-19 patients, then the non-Covid-19 patients will be neglected in that sense.”
To address this issue, MOH is said to be in discussions with the private healthcare sector. They are looking at having non-pandemic cases such as cancer patients and semi-emergency cases continuing their treatment at private hospitals.
Also being discussed is the capacity of private hospitals to take in Covid-19 cases. “Discussions are ongoing. We are looking at how we can accommodate the increased number of cases, especially in the Klang Valley,” Noor Hisham said. – Mkini