KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — All non-Covid patients currently treated at public hospitals in the Klang Valley are to be transferred to private hospitals immediately to free up occupancy rates in medical wards to be repurposed for Covid-19 treatment, following a government directive that came into force yesterday.
The directive dated July 20 in the form of a Health Ministry letter, was addressed to Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Dr Kuljit Singh, which Malay Mail has verified as true.
“Yes. We are happy to help and at the moment many patients have been decanted since last night.
“The process is very smooth. Our aim is to help the government to create more space for Covid-19 patients at their facilities,” Dr Kuljit said briefly when contacted.
According to the letter, it said that the government has agreed to outsource non-Covid patients currently warded in public hospitals to private hospitals primarily for the purpose of freeing up existing medical wards to treat more severe cases of Covid-19 involving Category 3, 4 and 5 patients.
In the letter, it was stated that the cost of treatment for patients transferred to private healthcare institutions will be absorbed by the government up to a certain limit.
“The transfer of patients must be done immediately from the date of this letter (July 20) while the acceptance letter is prepared.
“All transferred patients must receive due treatment with costs as stated in the guideline. However, it is the obligation of the private sector to complete the treatment.
“Any costs which go beyond the stipulated ceiling costs will be reimbursed upon review by the Health Ministry,” the letter undersigned by Health Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Mohd Shafiq Abdullah read.
Based on the Health Ministry’s guideline for the outsourcing of non-Covid patients to private hospitals, the ceiling charge per patient is RM45,000 for surgery, RM25,000 for non-surgery, RM5,000 for follow-up and the lowest available in the ward for bed charges.
It is also stipulated that private hospitals are also not allowed to transfer the patients to another private hospital without the ministry’s approval.
The guideline also states that all patient transfers between hospitals were to be implemented by the private sector and that all patient disputes including negligence claims were to be accounted for by private hospital operators themselves.
Earlier, Malaysia recorded 11,985 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, breaching the 10,000 daily Covid-19 cases mark for nine consecutive days since July 13.
A total of 6,724 cases or more than half of the cases were recorded in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur alone.