KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — The Health Ministry needs an additional budget of RM345.27 million to upgrade government hospitals and change electrical wirings.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the allocation encompassed RM185.87 million to upgrade the buildings for 78 hospitals aged 30 years and above and RM159.40 million to change the wiring systems for 95 hospitals.
“The ministry is in the process of requesting for the additional budget from the Ministry of Finance,” he said at an oral question and answer session at Dewan Rakyat here today.
Dr Hilmi was replying to a question from Datuk Rozman Isli (BN-Labuan) who wanted to know the result of a detailed audit performed on hospitals aged 50 years and above and the proactive action of the ministry in ensuring the incident of fire was not repeated.
Dr Hilmi said the ministry with the cooperation of the Fire and Rescue Department and the Public Works Department had conducted fire safety audits at 46 hospitals aged above 50 years to identify any risk of fire.
“From the fire safety audit, numerous risks had been identified, among others the ageing fire prevention system, old electrical wirings and installations and the installation of medicine gas system which did not comply with current standards, and other findings,” he said.
In addition, he said the research on fire risks too showed a major number of the hospitals were exposed to fire risks and needed prompt upgrading and improving works.
On Oct 25, a fire on the second floor of the intensive care unit of Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru caused by a capacitor in a lamp killed six patients and injured several others including hospital personnel.
Meanwhile on Nov 9, another fire took place at Ward 5B of the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh which was caused by a short circuit at a light switch on a bedhead panel.— Bernama