Baru to bring ‘sick’ Lawas Hospital to ministry’s attention

Baru Bian

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KUCHING, June 5: Selangau MP Baru Bian has pledged to bring the issue of Lawas Hospital to the attention of the Health Ministry once he has obtained a clearer picture of what was happening on the ground.

Baru, who is also Ba ‘Kelalan assemblyman and Sarawak PKR chief, said he was shocked and disappointed to learn of the chaining of the Lawas Health Office by the landlord for failure to settle the rental for an astonishing 30 months.

“It appears that the situation with the Lawas Hospital has not been fully disclosed. A 30-month arrears is really too long, and I am surprised the landlord had been patient for so long,” he said in a statement today.

“The ‘agreement and documentation error’ as cited by the Lawas District health officer cannot be accepted as a valid reason because one cannot expect such a problem to remain unsolved for almost three years.”

Baru expressed his gratitude to state Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim for responding with some clarifications on the outstanding rental.

“The new Lawas Hospital has been plagued by problems and delays since the government approved a budget of RM121 million for its construction in 2011. It was expected to have been completed within three years.

“One cannot help but conclude that the previous government’s mismanagement of resources had caused this problem.”

Baru recalled being informed in the State Legislative Assembly in 2013 that the rental for the four shoplots to house the temporary hospital was RM23,000 per month.

“It would be good for the health officer to assure the public that the rental payment for the shoplots is up-to-date.

“The people of Lawas have had to put up with inadequate health facilities for so long, with the alternative hospitals being so far away in Miri and Kota Kinabalu.”

He said it was completely irresponsible of the previous government to allow this situation to drag on for such an extended period.

“The new government has a lot of work to do to clean up the mess of the BN government. Once I have a clearer picture of the problems occurring in the temporary Lawas hospital and the construction of the new hospital, I will endeavour to bring them up with the Health Minister.” — DayakDaily