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Worry over ‘unsafe’ Sarawak Hospital lifts

 | February 28, 2017

Only three of the six lifts are working and they must be replaced quickly, says Stampin MP.


KUCHING: Despite a RM536 million allocation for upgrading hospital facilities nationwide in the 2017 Budget , Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) has lifts that are inoperable.

Stampin MP Julian Tan said the defective lifts, which were installed 20 years ago, were showing their age and needed to be replaced at once.

During a visit on Sunday, he said he found that of the six lifts that serviced the main building, only three were working.

One of the three working lifts is reserved for patients and staff while the other two are used by members of the public.

Tan said the sorry condition of the working lifts was a threat to public safety. “I think Sarawakians deserve better,” he said.

Tan said the walls of the three working lifts were marred by graffiti by unhappy visitors.

“They have written ‘cakap tidak guna’ (‘no use talking’) and so on on the walls. There is a lot of dissatisfaction among the people.”

This is not the first time DAP has raised the matter about the hospital’s lifts.

Last December, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen criticised the state government for the long delay in repairing a lift that had broken down last April.

Following that, a sign stating the lift will be repaired by June was placed near the lift.

“This is one of the most laughable things ever. You don’t need such a long time to replace one lift. You need maybe two to three months,” Chong had said.

Last October, state Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim told reporters that the hospital would get new lifts by April 2018. The project is currently at the tender selection stage.

Jamilah also said the lifts at the hospital were installed in July 1995 — 21 years ago.

Tan said the matter was raised in Parliament last November. Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam said RM5.4 million had been allocated for new lifts at the hospital.

But Tan said the installation of new lifts must be sped up. “We are entering March and there is nothing to be seen yet in terms of construction.”

Last October, a woman gave birth while trapped in a malfunctioning lift in the hospital.

Zuraidah Naskim, an 18-year-old mother from rural Sadong Jaya, was being escorted by nurses to the delivery ward on the fourth floor of the hospital when the lift stalled at 3.50am on Oct 6, The Borneo Post reported.

She was freed by Fire and Rescue Department personnel an hour later. By then, she had delivered a baby boy.


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