Klik Kanan & Save Serta Besarkan Untuk Lebih Jelas

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SAPP : Rationale behind "Khidmat Hospital" project unconvincing, dubious

KOTA KINABALU, August 14, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has again questioned the real motive behind the State government's adamant decision to convert the dilapidated Wisma Khidmat into a private hospital.

SAPP Information Chief, Chong Pit Fah described the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Hj Aman's recent claim that the decision to set up the private hospital was foremost to ease the people's burden especially the perennial congestion at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and that profit is the least concern of the State government, as unconvincing and a ploy to secure and implement the said project which was estimated to cost RM100 million.

Chong regretted the Chief Minister's adamant decision to proceed with the project despite disapproval by the Health Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai during his recent visit here on Aug 9.

Besides rejecting the State government's earlier offer to ‘loan' the private hospital to the Health Ministry upon its completion, the Health Minister also cautioned that running a private hospital is risky because the cost is high and doctors are in short supply.

"The public were skeptical of the real intention behind the project. They especially wanted to know why the State government is adamant about converting the long-abandoned, dilapidated Wisma Khidmat into a private hospital," said Chong in a statement issued here today.

He also challenge the State government and the relevant authorities to produce the fitness report for the said building to prove that it is really safe and fit still to be converted into a private hospital, besides a detailed budget for the project.

"While we in SAPP welcome the setting up of more private hospitals in the state, we are of the opinion that the State government should be fully transparent in the implementation of this project as it involves public interest, coupled with the fact that it is going to be funded by a Government-linked Company, the Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) whose money are essentially the public's money," stressed Chong who is also SAPP Kepayan CLC Chairman.

He also expressed shock and disbelief over Musa's statement that "profit is the least concern of the State government" in implementing the said project.

"With his background as a successful corporate leader before joining politics, Musa should realize that private business is all about making profit, otherwise it should not be called a business but a non-profit or charitable organization," he contended.

Chong thus reminded Musa not to repeat the past mistake made by the State government in running the old Sabah Medical Centre (SMC) through another of its wholly-owned subsidiary, where over the years it incurred heavy losses and was later forced to dispose it off and sold it to its present management.

"Unless the State government is prepared to write off whatever losses incurred by the "Khidmat Hospital" in future as "bad debts" like what happened to the other money-losing government-owned businesses like Perwaja Steel, Malaysian Airlines etc.," he said.

He further reminded that the charges imposed by the old SMC in the past were based on the rates charged by private hospital, and most of its medicines were not subsidised by the government.

He thus questioned who will be subsidizing the medicines and treatments to be rendered by "Khidmat Hospital", if as claimed by Musa "profit is the least concern of the State government", which means this hospital is going to charge less than the other private hospitals if not the same as the government hospital.

"If the medicines and treatments at this "Khidmat Hospital" are not going to be subsidised, how is the hospital going to survive, let alone making money? If it is to be subsidized by the State government, how much it's going to cost the State government annually? If not, how much money SCC is going to lose every year?" he asked.

No comments: