Exco: Island Hospital upgrade may not take place


GEORGE TOWN: The project to expand and upgrade Island Hospital on Jalan Peel here may have to be abandoned if the health ministry does not issue a permit, according to a state executive councillor.

Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said in order to get a permit for expansion from the ministry, a hospital would be required to have a large piece of land located near the original building.

“The upgrade for the hospital was proposed as its location is strategic and in line with the aspiration of the state government to turn George Town into a medical tourism city of choice.

“In fact, it will be equipped with a tunnel to connect the new building and the old,” he said when replying to a question from Muhammad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) at the state assembly sitting today.

Chow said Tetuan Island Sdn Bhd (IHSB) had paid 20% of the RM156 million, which was the overall value of the sale of the site in 2016.

“To date, the state government has received RM32 million with the balance of RM124 million payable after IHSB has obtained the permit from the health ministry.

“The payment is for a proposal to invest RM2 billion to develop Island Medical City on a piece of land belonging to the state government at 1449 Jalan Peel, which was submitted by IHSB on Aug 6, 2016,” he said.

Earlier, to a question from Dr Norlela Ariffin (PKR-Penanti) on the operation of an illegal sawdust factory in Sungai Lembu, Bukit Mertajam, Chow said it had been ordered to close while other structures were given flexibility pending approval.