Lack of beds a problem at Sarawak hospital lodging initiative

Bibi (wearing a dark blue scarf) and some of her family members sit on mats and pieces of cardboard in the corridor.

KUCHING: A shortage of beds is throwing a spanner in the works of an initiative to provide temporary lodging for families of needy patients from the interior at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

The Anjung Kasih facility, established in 2006, has 46 rooms and can only accommodate up to 104 people.

A family member of a patient who called himself Kino said he only managed to get a room two weeks after applying.

He and his brother left their jobs to take turns looking after their father, who is suffering from cancer.

“There was no room available,” he said. “My brother and I had to sleep along the corridor before this.

A sign saying no rooms are available, seen at the Anjung Kasih counter at Sarawak General Hospital.

“There were lots of mosquitoes, but we had no choice as we had nowhere to stay.”

A woman named Bibi said she had been sleeping on the hospital floor since her daughter was admitted to the intensive care unit due to a brain haemorrhage.

She and her family were unaware of the Anjung Kasih facility at SGH.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii told FMT there was a huge need to upgrade the facility, calling it “an ongoing problem”.

“Most of these family members are from rural parts of Sarawak,” he said.

The main entrance of Anjung Kasih at Sarawak General Hospital.

“We will be following up on this issue with the health ministry and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.”

In some cases, he said, family members are not well briefed about Anjung Kasih.

Another problem is security. Yii said he had been told by family members of thefts occurring there.

“We are working together with the hospital to enhance security,” he said.