SAPP: Rationale behind "Khidmat Hospital" project
KOTA KINABALU, August 14, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has again
questioned the real motive behind the State government's adamant decision
to convert the dilapidated Wisma Khidmat into a private hospital.
SAPP Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah described the Chief Minister, Datuk
Seri Musa Hj Aman's recent claim that the decision to set up the private
hospital was foremost to ease the people's burden especially the perennial
congestion at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and that profit is the
least concern of the State government, as unconvincing and a ploy to
secure and implement the said project which was estimated to cost RM100
Chong regretted the Chief Minister's adamant decision to proceed with the
project despite disapproval by the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
during his recent visit here on Aug 9.
Besides rejecting the State government's earlier offer to 'loan' the
private hospital to the Health Ministry upon its completion, the Health
Minister also cautioned that running a private hospital is risky because
the cost is high and doctors are in short supply.
"The public were skeptical of the real intention behind the project. They
especially wanted to know why the State government is adamant about
converting the long-abandoned, dilapidated Wisma Khidmat into a private
hospital," said Chong in a statement issued here today.
He also challenge the State government and the relevant authorities to
produce the fitness report for the said building to prove that it is
really safe and fit still to be converted into a private hospital, besides
a detailed budget for the project.
"While we in SAPP welcome the setting up of more private hospitals in the
state, we are of the opinion that the State government should be fully
transparent in the implementation of this project as it involves public
interest, coupled with the fact that it is going to be funded by a
Government-linked Company, the Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) whose money
are essentially the public's money," stressed Chong who is also SAPP
Kepayan CLC Chairman.
He also expressed shock and disbelief over Musa's statement that "profit
is the least concern of the State government" in implementing the said
"With his background as a successful corporate leader before joining
politics, Musa should realize that private business is all about making
profit, otherwise it should not be called a business but a non-profit or
charitable organization," he contended.
Chong thus reminded Musa not to repeat the past mistake made by the State
government in running the old Sabah Medical Centre (SMC) through another
of its wholly-owned subsidiary, where over the years it incurred heavy
losses and was later forced to dispose it off and sold it to its present
"Unless the State government is prepared to write off whatever losses
incurred by the "Khidmat Hospital" in future as "bad debts" like what
happened to the other money-losing government-owned businesses like Perwaja Steel, Malaysian Airlines etc.," he said.
He further reminded that the charges imposed by the old SMC in the past
were based on the rates charged by private hospital, and most of its
medicines were not subsidised by the government.
He thus questioned who will be subsidizing the medicines and treatments to
be rendered by "Khidmat Hospital", if as claimed by Musa "profit is the
least concern of the State government", which means this hospital is going
to charge less than the other private hospitals if not the same as the
"If the medicines and treatments at this "Khidmat Hospital" are not going
to be subsidised, how is the hospital going to survive, let alone making
money? If it is to be subsidized by the State government, how much it's
going to cost the State government annually? If not, how much money SCC is
going to lose every year?" he asked.