Govt seeks new ways to cut congestion in hospitals, clinics

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah says congestion is making social distancing difficult in government clinics and hospitals.

PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry is studying new ways to reduce congestion in clinics and hospitals to make it easier for social distancing to be observed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this includes staggering appointments and getting patients to wait in their vehicles until it is time to see the doctor.

“We are looking at a lot of ideas and innovations to make sure the standard operating procedures are complied with.

“The ministry’s clinics and hospitals are congested all the time,” he said in his daily briefing here this evening.

Noor Hisham said the ministry is also running “virtual clinics” and delivering medications to patients.

“And now, we are looking at delivering certain services for stroke patients, for example, and bringing such services to the community. This way we can reduce congestion in hospitals and only then can we introduce social distancing.”

He also said Malaysia was worried about a second wave of Covid-19 infections, following reports of renewed outbreaks in China and South Korea.

This was why it was important to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the ministry at all levels, apart from the government and ministries.

“So, whether we have the second wave or not, it is not up to the ministry, but the onus is on the public as well. We need to make sure the public complies with the SOPs,” he said, referring to practices such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

Asked if Malaysians could be trusted to do so, Noor Hisham said the inspector-general of police had informed him that the compliance rate was almost 90%.

“So, we need to focus on the (remaining) 10%. If we want to be successful and break the chain, we have to come together as one, Malaysia boleh,” he said.

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