GEORGE TOWN, April 23 ― A new charitable specialist hospital in Penang is set to open its doors to the public next month.

The Kek Lok Si Charitable Medical Centre is the first Buddhist non-profit hospital in the state that is open only to Malaysians.

Board member and medical superintendent Datuk Dr Teng Hock said the hospital caters mainly to the needy and will not accept medical tourists.

“If there is an emergency case involving a foreigner, we will treat them until their condition is stable before being transferred to other hospitals,” he said.

He said the medical fees in the hospital will be the lowest in the state and the hospital relies fully on public donations and contributions.

He thanked the Penang state government for its allocation of RM200,000 to the hospital and hoped that the state will consider making an annual contribution.

“Since the hospital runs fully on donations and the hospital’s expenses is very high, we hope the state will consider approving annual funding for the hospital to be released in the beginning of each year,” he said when Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow visited the hospital today.

He said the hospital also aims to get an oncologist on board to treat cancer patients in future.

He said the hospital accepts donations from the public and organisations and all donations above RM50 are tax-exempted.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow paid a visit to the Kek Lok Si Charitable Hospital in Air Itam April 23, 2021.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow paid a visit to the Kek Lok Si Charitable Hospital in Air Itam April 23, 2021.

He added that the hospital will not accept Covid-19 patients but will swab test any who display symptoms of infection.

“Any patient who required hospitalisation or surgery will have to undergo Rapid PCR test first,” he said.

Chow, who announced the RM200,000 allocation, said the hospital is a 50-bed hospital with seven resident consultants, two medical officers, two sessional consultants and one visiting consultant.

“It is equipped with state-of-the-art medical facilities and devices and the 130 staff members are ready to serve once the approval from the Cawangan Kawalan Amalan Perubatan Swasta (CKAPS) of the Penang state health department is obtained,” he said.

Chow said the charges at the hospital, which is open to all Malaysians regardless of race or religion, will be lower than other non-profit hospitals in the state.

“Patients who are unable to pay the full amount of his or her bill can apply for subsidy from Yayasan Kek Lok Si,” he said.

He said the hospital is also one of the first private hospitals that does not charge nursing procedure fees for its in-patients.

He called on all non-governmental organisations and corporations, the Penang Chinese Town Hall, the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce and multinational companies to support the charitable hospital.