The federal government needs to provide an immediate RM20 million injection to the Klang General Hospital if it wants to save more lives from Covid-19, Charles Santiago said yesterday.
- No more beds available
- No food for patients
- Medical equipment breaking down
- Doctors exhausted from working 14 to 16 hours a day
The Klang MP said he welcomed the 100 beds from the Ministry of Health and the army to the hospital for the treatment of its Covid-19 patients but emphasised that it is insufficient to address the ballooning caseloads daily.
“Instead of stop-gap measures that we really cannot afford at this point in time, I urge the government to channel the money to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah immediately to save lives.
“An injection of RM1.1 million in funds from the federal government is laughable. Think of it this way: a ventilator costs some RM200,000. And no, five ventilators won’t cut it,” he said in a statement.
He said the hospital facilities were unable to cope with the huge caseloads and were in urgent need of upgrades. He ticked off the most pressing concerns as the intensive care unit (ICU), oxygen tanks and beds to place patients.
Charles said the hospital was not only short of machines to treat the patients, but also lacked medical manpower and even food.
He said a friend whose mother-in-law is currently warded at the hospital had sent food to her last night, but the lack of personnel saw her receiving it only this morning.
“The food had obviously gone stale and there’s no food for a few dozen more people, who are also stranded with no beds at the hospital,” he said, adding that the woman has also been forced to remain in a chair for the past two days due to the lack of beds.
“The situation in Klang General Hospital is dire — no beds, no food for patients, doctors are exhausted from working 14 to 16 hours a day, and medical equipment is breaking down,” he said.
He urged the government to increase funding not just for the hospital but also to hire doctors who are currently on contract as permanent staff as well as all medical graduates to address the manpower crisis.
This is not the first time the lawmaker has spotlighted the desperate situation at the Klang hospital.
Last Wednesday, Charles shared pictures of patients spilling out of the hospital building and put on cots due to the lack of beds and space inside.
In response to this, the Health Ministry yesterday deployed canvas beds and placed them outside the Klang hospital’s emergency department.
It promised more beds and medical equipment worth an estimated RM1.1 million to cope with the sudden rush of incoming patients.
The Malaysian Armed Forces also helped to set up a field hospital at HTAR with a capacity of 50 additional beds. – MMO