Bukit Assek assemblywoman: Sibu hospital lacking in facilities and staff

Irene Chang

SIBU,Oct 2: A permanent feasible solution needs to be urgently found for Sibu Hospital which is facing shortage of health facility and medical staff.

In pointing this out, Bukit Assek assemblywoman, Irene Chang in a statement today said for decades, the hospital has been under equipped and depend so much on communities and corporates for the timely supplies of consumables and medical equipment.

“Even the molecular lab with its PCR machines for the testing of Covid-19 were partially sponsored by the corporates in Sibu.

“Indeed, the last two years have borne the truth on how much the hospital has been depending on the generosity of the local communities to keep it going and well run,” she said.

On the same note, Chang claimed that the problem of the shortage of healthcare workers was already there even during the pre-covid days.

However, she asserted the need for more manpower has intensified manifold during the last two years due to the escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases.

She explained this lack is not only in the specialists, doctors and medical officers but also in the contract staff nurses who, once they have completed their training in the nursing colleges in Kuching and Sibu, are usually posted out of Sarawak to Semananjung and Sabah for their permanent postings.

“This is in spite of the need by Sarawak herself for the services of these staff nurses in hospitals such as Sibu Hospital, and yet, many of these nurses have expressed their desire to stay back in their hometown in Sarawak but they were never given a choice.

“So, the question is why should this choice not be given to these healthcare workers especially when we need them and they desire to stay back? Also, it is expected that the deployment of healthcare workers from Peninsular to Sarawak would also be met with as much unhappiness among those deployed,” she added.

Chang said this in response to the allegation made by a doctor from Hospital Sibu to CodeBlue, an online portal, alleging the manipulation of data on the statistic of hospital bed use in the Covid wards as well as in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the shortage of manpower and of resources such as oxygen ports for Covid-19 patients and the resulting weariness and exhaustion of most medical personnel.

According to Chang, she considered the response by the Sarawak Health Department as an arbitrary dismissal to the many allegations made the said doctor because the hospital is facing shortage of manpower and of resources.

“These issues should deserve a better response than that “the number of available beds is dynamic and will change according to circumstances as said by the department which was published in Malaysiakini yesterday.

“The department should provide a more specific and detailed explanation on this allegation by the doctor as failure to do so might give an impression that the data have indeed been manipulated and was not in fact an erroneous perception by the doctor concerned,” she said. – DayakDaily.