Health Ministry forming rapid deployment unit to send oxygen supplies to states that urgently need them

Khairy said his ministry has responded to the recent surges in Sabah by setting up field hospitals and will ensure oxygen supplies reach the affected areas. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Khairy said his ministry has responded to the recent surges in Sabah by setting up field hospitals and will ensure oxygen supplies reach the affected areas. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The Health Ministry (MoH) will be forming a rapid deployment unit to send urgent oxygen supplies to states hard hit by a Covid-19 surges to address future shortages, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also said his ministry has responded to the recent surges in Sabah by setting up field hospitals and will ensure oxygen supplies reach the affected areas.

“During the surge in Sabah, MOH had added oxygen supply. In Tawau, MOH also had a site to set up a 100-bed field hospital.

“MoH will set up a rapid deployment unit to ensure oxygen can be delivered quickly to the states affected by Covid-19 new variant in the future.

“This is in order to ensure the same thing does not recur,” he said during the Minister Question Time in response to questions from Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Semporna-Warisan) about the lack of hospital beds and oxygen in the state.

In response to a question from Sungai Siput MP S. Kesavan, Khairy said MoH is aiming to increase the bed to population ratio in the 12th Malaysia Plan. He said the ministry targets 2.08 beds per 1,000 people compared to the current ratio of 2.01 beds per 1,000 people.

He said the ministry has increased the capacity from 55,952 beds 2016 to 65,558 beds last year under the current 11th Malaysia Plan.

He explained that this will be done by building new hospitals and upgrading the facilities of existing hospitals.

“The focus of existing hospitals is in the area of high bed occupancies, high populations and access to the hospitals,” he said.

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