KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Most private hospitals, especially in the Klang Valley, no longer have room to accept Covid-19 patients due to the recent spike in cases, said an industry group.

The move to allow private hospitals to accept Covid-19 patients was among those cited as necessary when the government issued a proclamation of Emergency in the country.

Associations of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said the past 14 days has seen Covid-19 patients occupying all available beds in the designated wards, with even the isolated intensive care unit beds constantly filled up.

“Private hospitals are constrained on the number of beds and ICU facilities that can accommodate Covid-19 patient and the availability of specialist and nurses which further compounds the restriction,” he said in a statement.

Dr Kuljit added that the private hospital sector’s biggest fear was a possible collapse of the healthcare system due to the non-availability of beds and oxygen treatment.

“Private hospitals have been admitting Covid 19 patients since January this year after the request by the government to assist them in managing the pandemic, particularly for those who can afford treatment as insurances do not cover this pandemic up to this stage.

“We have actively assisted the government in co-managing this pandemic in many different ways. We conducted private Covid-19 screenings using Rapid and RTK-PCR, providing ventilators to the government hospitals, offering dialysis slots and currently vaccinating private healthcare workers and soon for the public.

“Besides that, private hospitals have assisted the government in registration for the National Immunisation Programme and providing information on Covid-19 vaccines to our patients,” he said.

The association president said that APHM has been made to understand that government facilities in the Klang Valley and possibly also in Johor were fast filling up with the current increased number of patients.

“Our suggestion to the government is to decant non-Covid 19 patients to private hospitals as an immediate step in order to create space for Covid-19 patients in public hospitals, at the agreed cost which was accepted last year and which will be fully funded by the government.

“We hope the public will take this shortage of beds in hospitals seriously and be responsible to make sure the spread of Covid-19 is curtailed, and all preventive standard operating procedures are adhered to,” Dr Kuljit said.

Malaysia reported 3,142 new Covid-19 infections yesterday.