MIRI, Dec 9 — Sarawak Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s manifesto has promised to build specialist hospitals and satellite units to prioritise healthcare and welfare in the state.

In a statement, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng said Sarawak’s health system is in a critical condition and needs special allocations.

“It is pointless having billions of ringgit in reserves in resource-rich Sarawak if the state of healthcare in Sarawak is deplorable and puts the lives of ordinary Sarawakians at risk,” he said.

According to him, Sarawak currently has 22 hospitals and 229 public clinics for its 2.9 million population; with many rural clinics run only by nurses and medical assistants.

He said PKR would upgrade health facilities in every district and ensure they are sufficiently staffed.

“Every hospital will be complete with diagnostic facilities, radiology, emergency services, surgeons, trauma and orthopaedics, and an Intensive Care Unit, as well as ensured of adequate medical equipment,” he said.

According to him, a specialist cancer hospital would be built in Kuching with satellite treatment units in Bintulu, Sibu, and Miri.

Dr Teo said an ophthalmology hospital is also needed here to reduce congestion at Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching and lighten the burden of many patients who cannot afford long distance travel from rural areas to the state capital.

He claimed PKR would also roll out breast and cervical cancer screening programmes throughout Sarawak, especially in rural areas.

Dr Teo added PKR would push for increased funding and resources from the federal government, while topping up funding from the state reserves.

PKR is contesting 28 out of the 82 seats in the 12th Sarawak election. — Borneo Post