Govt hospitals to tie up with private clinics

(Bernama pic)

KLANG: The health ministry is encouraging government hospitals to collaborate with private clinics to help reduce congestion of patients at government facilities.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the benefits of such cooperation include simplifying patient referral cases from private clinics which indirectly could reduce waiting time at clinics in government hospitals.

Dzulkefly said there were eight private clinics working closely with Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR) here.

“This is something new that has not been done elsewhere, in which private clinics play an important role by identifying patients first before they are referred to HTAR for further treatment. The collaboration is good and hopefully more hospitals can do the same,” he told reporters after visiting the hospital today.

Dzulkefly said the hospital had also introduced the Multiple Disciplinary Short Stay Unit (MDSU) to reduce overcrowding in normal wards.

The unit has 15 beds and patients are treated over 24 to 72 hours only. If given treatment at this unit, the patient will not be admitted into a normal ward. The experience of these doctors and nurses will be used to categorise the patients who can be treated there.

He said the lack of resources had made HTAR staff more innovative. “I want this unit to be a benchmark and if possible, it can be used in all government hospitals, especially in the Klang Valley,”  Dzulkefly said.

The MDSU was established in January last year. It provides treatment for medium-level emergency cases, such as uncontrolled diabetics, hypertension and certain types of orthopaedic problems.

Dzulkefly said only 40% of HTAR’s Mother and Child Care Complex was in use but the facility was expected to be fully operational in stages from next year. He said the operational constraints were mainly due to the lack of staff, especially nurses.

“It is regrettable that the construction of this treatment complex was not in line with the needs of the personnel. But I am told that in July, there will be 57 new posts for nurses at HTAR,” he said.

The eight-storey complex was completed in January and started operations in March. It has about 40 beds and several maternity rooms.