PETALING JAYA: The health ministry today defended its decision to shut down the Mawar Medical Centre (MMC) in Seremban, citing it could not pay the salaries of its employees in February as among the reasons for doing so.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad also said that the lack of manpower meant that dialysis patients were not being given proper treatment.
He revealed, however, that the centre had applied to the ministry to transfer its patients to other haemodialysis centres.
“The wellbeing of the patients is something that we cannot take lightly and we do not want any situation where a patient turns up at a centre that cannot care for them.
“The ministry had no choice but to act immediately for the patients’ sake,” he said in a statement in response to brickbats over the closure of the centre.
On Thursday, the ministry ordered MMC to cease operations after finding that it had failed to comply with legal requirements.
Dzulkelfy today said the ministry had received a letter from the centre’s chairman on Feb 11, explaining the problems it faced which led to the mass resignation of its specialists.
He rubbished allegations that the ministry’s personnel had prevented MMC staff from retrieving their belongings from the premises.
Dzulkefly also denied that the ministry had ordered MMC staff to not turn up for work on Friday, the day after it was ordered to be shut down.
“The ministry would like to apologise to the patients and their families over the inconvenience caused,” he said, adding that it will ensure the smooth transfer of the patients to other centres.