Putrajaya prepares to shift non-Covid cases to private hospitals

The government is believed to be preparing for transfers of non-emergency and non-Covid-19 cases to private hospitals.

PETALING JAYA: The government is making preparations to refer non-Covid-19 emergency cases to private hospitals, as an effort to free up beds at public hospitals and manage the rise of infections in the country.

It is understood that most private hospitals in the country have been notified and that officials in Putrajaya are in the midst of finalising the referral process.

FMT is awaiting response from the health ministry.

Dr Kuljit Singh, president of the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), said the notification was received a month ago and hospital managements were currently awaiting updates from the government.

Speaking to FMT, he said patients would only be referred for treatment after government doctors’ evaluation. The referrals would depend on the patient’s condition and the final terms and conditions.

APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh

“The public should not think they will automatically get referred to private hospitals. Both public and private hospital doctors will communicate and agree, then the patient will be transferred.”

Based on previous meetings with government officials, Kuljit said it was agreed that the government would pay private hospitals based on a set amount. “Everything is a case-to-case basis. This will help the government clear their (number of) patients but it is all based on the said discussions.”

Covid-19 infections have been rising steadily over the past month, with major outbreaks in two prisons and new clusters breaking out from people who had visited Sabah last month.

Close to 300 schools in Selangor were ordered to be closed from yesterday until Oct 25, as well as 10 other schools in Perak and Kedah. Infections have also been reported among workers at several shopping malls in the Klang Valley, who have caught the virus from others.

Sabah, Kedah and Selangor remain the worst-affected states. On Saturday, the health ministry said it had increased the capacity of medical services in Sabah, setting up six more quarantine and treatment centres for low-risk patients in the state.