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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wisma Khidmat private hospital to make quick bucks and not for the people's well being

The hasty plan to convert Wisma Khidmat building into a private hospital is to make quick bucks by taking advantage of the current situation when the people's healthcare predicament is in chaos.

The proposal to loan the private hospital to the government while waiting for the completion of the renovation works of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) including the construction of the twin towers to replace the unsafe main tower block is seen as squeezing the Health Ministry's funds.

"The Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had at the last State Assembly sitting revealed that the government is paying the Sabah Medical Centre (SMC) a whopping RM70 million a year as payment for renting since the QEH was declared unsafe.

"So now we know why Musa directed the commencement to convert the Wisma Khidmat into a private hospital costing RM100 million on the double. The main target is to loan the private hospital to the government for fast income," Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Information Chief Chong Pit Fah said in a statement, here, today.

He said it was learnt that the Wisma Khidmat private hospital owned by the Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) will be loaned to the government for two years and, that means the owner would receive RM140 million, which is RM40 million guarantee profits without to worry anything.

He said another matter of concerned is the contractor who will be given the jobs to convert the building and its consultant who surely make handsome profits as well. "The main question here is who are they. They must be well connected otherwise they won't get the jobs," he said adding it was also learnt that both contractor and consultant have been appointed.

Chong was replying to a statement issued by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Information Chief, Johnny Mositun, who had said Musa's directive reflects the Chief Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s seriousness in meeting the people’s healthcare needs.

"The government should have came up with the idea many years ago when the healthcare situation is in need of better services and not taking advantage at present difficult time," he said.

He further said that what the government should do right now is to press the Federal Government to speed up the construction of the QEH twin towers as well as repairing works.

He said since the QEH is the only referral hospital in Sabah so Malaysians residing all over the State and at neighbouring areas like Lawas and Limbang, Sarawak, are deprived of such vital medical care.

"What we need here is a general hospital, a five-star general hospital to be exact after the QEH debacle made the State Capital as the only city in the world without a general hospital. It is a shame to Sabah BN Government.

"This sad situation is against the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tub Razak. Sabah is a member state of Malaysia for 46 years but without a general hospital. This shouldn't happened," he added.

He said Mositun's observation at the QEH that the situation there is causing stress both to the patients and doctors and nurses as some of the patients have to sleep on the floor due to insufficient beds have confirmed the dire needs for a quick solution to the only general hospital here.

Chong said SAPP has no objection to the RM275 million acquisition of the SMC by the Health Ministry and the proposal to build a new general hospital in Kinarut and the upgrading of Papar district hospital.

However, the State Government should asked the Federal Government to hasten those things and not to wait all of it to take off in the 10th Malaysia Plan, he said.

Chong agreed with Mositun's other statement to let the experts to could confirm whether Wisma Khidmat building is safe or suitable to be converted into a private hospital or otherwise.

The SCC owned private hospital costing over RM100 million would have 150 beds and medical facilities such as an operating theatre.

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