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Friday, July 17, 2009

Wisma Khidmat Hospital project bad idea

KOTA KINABALU, 16 July 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) opined that the proposal to convert the Wisma Khidmat building, here, into a private hospital is a bad idea due to many reasons like its safety and suitability.

SAPP Information Chief Chong Pit Fah said that the proposed conversion site was bad as the building and location are not suitable for a medical setup.

"Is this private hospital upon completion going to provide free medical treatment to the people of Sabah because the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had said that it would be given on loan to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) while waiting for the other planned government hospital to be completed," he asked.

He further asked whether such loan means that the low income group are given subsidy whenever they seek treatment at the private hospital.

He said the Wisma Khidmat building, which was built for more than 25 years was also not suitable for a medical set up because it was built for commercial purposes then.

According to him, there is no guarantee that the Wisma Khidmat is safe for occupancy after being abandoned for several years as many parts of the building might be damaged.

He also said that problem like congestion might take place at the area because there are limited spaces for parking and this could spill over to the surrounding area.

"What the Chief Minister should do is to use of his good office to press the Federal Government to speed up the construction of the twin towers of the QEH after its main block was declared unsafe since late last year," he said.

He said there is an urgent need for a full-fledge general hospital here and the work to repair the QEH have to be carried out as fast as the government could.

He added that the city is already deprived of general hospital facility for 254 days after the QEH debacle.

The private hospital costing over RM100 million would have 150 beds and medical facilities such as an operating theatre. It will also be owned by the Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC), which owns the building.

Chong questioned the State Government the justification and the real motive behind such an endeavour.

"These are the questions that are currently being asked by the public," he said.

He argued that SCC, being a government linked company (GLC) established long time ago with the chief aim of assisting the small and medium enterprises should not divert from its original aim.

Chong also said that there were rumours that a consultant and contractor for the private hospital project have been appointed.

"Is this project a measure to rescue the abandoned Wisma Khidmat building or somebody has personal interest in it," he added.

Musa had told the media after chairing the weekly State Cabinet meeting at Wisma Innoprise, here, yesterday that he has issued a directive for work to convert the Wisma Khidmat into a private hospital as soon as possible and completed within one year.

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