PSM: Are hospital safety contractors doing their job?

Michael Jeyakumar DevarajPETALING JAYA : Parti Sosialis Malaysia has questioned whether three consortiums commissioned to conduct safety audits of hospitals around the country were doing their jobs.

Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj said that since privatisation in 1996, the government has awarded a contract to three consortiums, divided between states. “Are they following their contracts?” he said today when speaking to FMT.

Several people died after a fire broke out at Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru last week.

Yesterday, Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam had said that as many as 48 hospitals, which were over 50 years old, would undergo a safety audit within one to two weeks.

Among the hospitals are Batu Gajah Hospital (136 years), the Balik Pulau Hospital (136), Penang Hospital (81) and Perlis Hospital (97).

Jeyakumar, who is a medical doctor, said the consortium was awarded a contract worth RM300 million in gross value for their services.

“Laundries, hospital maintenance, disposal of chemical waste, housekeeping… all these five services are what the government gives to the company,” he said.

At the same time, he also questioned whether privatisation was the rational thing to do.

Privatisation was spearheaded by Dr Mahathir Mohamad while he was prime minister, and was aimed at saving money, by being more efficient.

“This shows that the idea of privatisation is not as efficient as was being harped on back then,” he said.