KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Congestion at public hospitals could likely be due to Malaysians not practising a healthy lifestyle, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said today.
“The crux of the matter is, why are hospitals still congested? It could be that the quality of facilities has improved, but at the same time, it also gives us an impression of whether it could be that Malaysians are not practicing a healthy lifestyle.
“Due to that, more have to refer to the doctor and that is why the Health Ministry has stressed that we should promote a healthy lifestyle.
“This is important and a preventive measure that we should focus on,” Fadillah told the Parliament during the Prime Minister’s Question Time.
At the same time, Fadillah urged all MPs to organise events that promote a healthy lifestyle among the people to prevent crowding at government hospitals with cases that are not critical.
He was responding to DAP’s Sibu MP Oscar Ling Chai Yew who raised the question on overcrowding at government hospitals whereby it is becoming more worrying as the public is not receiving appropriate medical and health services in a timely manner.
Fadillah in his reply also suggested that congestion at government hospitals is an indication that the health system has improved.
“In my opinion.. when it has improved, the people will have confidence to go to government hospital because of the good health services.
“Secondly, because the hospital can provide services that are said to be almost free of charge, it is so cheap when compared to private hospitals, that’s why the government hospital has become a focus.
“If we look at it, the government has added doctors and nurses but it is still facing congestion. Therefore, the government has established a task force for public sector reformation or STAR, chaired by the chief secretary to the government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, that is not only joined by the Health Ministry but several others, where they will look at what improvements can be made by implementing short-term, mid-term, and also long-term measures,” Fadillah added.
He also said there is an existing connection made with private sectors, private hospitals and private medical personnel, to share (the load) of patients who may not have critical illnesses and can receive medical treatment in private clinics.
“Also for those who come during odd hours between 6pm to 12 midnight, if their case is not serious, they will be sent to the Klinik Kesihatan or District Clinic.
“That is a short-term and mid-term measures that have been implemented,” he said.
“Hospitals will not be burdened with cases which in the end bring losses to the country in terms of financial constraints and the losses to the rakyat as well,” he said.