We’re willing to help, private hospitals tell health ministry

Private hospitals say they cannot take in walk-in Covid-19 patients as the health ministry is the lead authority in the fight against the disease.

PETALING JAYA: The Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia says it can take in Covid-19 patients for treatment if the health ministry needs help.

Speaking to FMT, Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Dr Kuljit Singh said this would be on a case-by-case basis and only if the cases were referred by the health ministry.

“We will help if they need help, but any request must come from the health ministry.

“We cannot simply take in walk-in patients,” he said, adding this was because the health ministry was the lead authority in the fight against Covid-19.

Kuljit said they had not yet discussed with the ministry on who would pay for treatment of Covid-19 patients in private hospitals.

“But we have the capacity to help when the need arises.”

He added that aside from Covid-19 patients, private hospitals are also willing to accept non-Covid-19 patients to relieve the burden on public hospitals.

“But again prior discussions are needed between the government hospitals and the private hospitals accepting the patient before the transfer.”

Private hospitals, Kuljit added, could also assist, on a case-by-case basis, with equipment if public hospitals needed them.

“At any time, in any state, the state health director can just call private hospitals if they need to borrow or rent equipment.

“We are willing to help,” he said, adding that so far, there had been no requests yet.

“We are in constant contact with the health ministry.”

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia is now 1,030, with three deaths.