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2008 Dec 2 - Sapp: KK deserves an advanced general hospital

Kota Kinabalu deserves an advanced general hospital

Kota Kinabalu (Dec 2, 2008): Sabah Progressive Party president, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee, described the city of Kota Kinabalu has today become a city without a general hospital. "This is grossly unjust to the people of Kota Konabalu and a shame on our government. Therefore, the government should promptly build the proposed new twin tower blocks, demolish the old tower block and rebuild a new block and give the people an advanced, user friendly general hospital befitting the half a million people residing in City of Kota Kinabalu and surrounding areas," said Yong

Yong added that the dismal state of the QEH complex is another latest glaring case of negligence and lack of forward planning by the federal government over the basic services that the government is duty bound to provide to the people. Gone are the days when hospital patients and visitors only had to worry about broken lifts. Today, the entire hospital has reached “the advanced stage of a terminal disease” according to the Sabah State Health Director.

People recall that each time a new health minister has been appointed, a high profile visit to QEH is organized, usually timed together with a local MCA political event. Yet, our general hospital has been left to deteriorate to such an extent that lives are now at risk and State health officials are left in a state of panic over what to do next.

The Minister of Health should stop dilly dallying over the old tower block at the QEH hospital complex. Since “all options had been studied in detail” by the Ministry of Health, the Public Works Department and private consultants, there is no excuse for the government in not being able to make a decision promptly. If, as claimed by the professionals engaged to evaluate the existing tower block, the tower block “is already in a high degree of premature deterioration and in severe structural stress”, then the demolition of the existing block and rebuilding of new block should start without any further delay, concurrently with the construction of the proposed twin tower blocks.

SAPP is relieved to learn that the proposed Kinarut hospital is not meant to replace the general hospital (QEH) in Kota Kinabalu. Kinarut is too far away from the main population centre of Kota Kinabalu city. It is best to improve the infrastructure and the services at the present QEH complex because, at the moment, the whole complex is very unfriendly to users.

Other than the shortage of hospital beds and other medical facilities, car parking facilities are almost non-existent. It is a tough task getting into the hospital and out. If you are already sick, the journey to the hospital ward could make your condition worse. Waiting rooms are lacking, canteens and toilets are unwelcoming, to say the least.

"Although we know that the hospital authorities and management, doctors and staff are dedicated to their work, their level of service is very much constrained by limited resources, manpower, equipment, beds and supporting services. The men and women working at our hospitals deserve better working conditions and facilities in order to provide quality health care to the people, said Yong.


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