Deputy Health Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang: Task force will be set up for central region to improve healthcare services

Datuk Aaron (centre) speaking at the press conference accompany by with Dr Annuar (far left) and Dr Nanthakumar (right).

SIBU,Oct 2: A task force will be set up to manage and discuss the need for medical services for the central region, says Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.

Speaking at a press conference after visiting Sibu Hospital today, the Deputy Health Minister said the committee for the task force will be based here to facilitate health services, especially for the central region.

“This long-term plan is still in planning and consultation stage. Health experts have agreed on the establishment of this task force as a step that is very worthwhile to implement in health in the central region.

“All this while we have been dependent on Kuching and we hope to reduce it,” he said.

He added that the proposal for the setting up of the task force will be submitted to the state government, Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) at the federal level where Assistant Minister of Education, Science, and Technological Research, Dr Annuar Rapaee would take the lead.

Meanwhile, on the issue of lack of medical staff at Sibu Hospital, Aaron said that the issue has been a big problem at Sibu Hospital since it was established 27 years ago in 1994.

“The issue of staffing is a very big problem every year. However, this does not only involve the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), but also the Public Service Department (JPA) and related government agencies,” he said.

The Kanowit MP pointed out that due the lack medical staff and rising Covid-19 patients, doctors and nurses at the hospital have to work up to 12 hours a day instead of the standard eight hours for each shift.

“Sibu Hospital has 9 Covid-19 wards including two Covid -19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wards treating 273 Covid patients at the moment. The existing wards are over capacity.

“The modular ICU is expected to be completed on Oct 11, with a capacity of 10 beds in addition to the existing Covid ICU (Intensive Care Unit) ward,” he said.

At the same time, the Kanowit MP also said Medan Hospital would be established at Sibu Hospital with a capacity of 100 beds and construction was still in the costing stage.

“This Medan Hospital will be built in the car park of Sibu Hospital. This hospital is to accommodate non -Covid patients,” he explained.

Also present at the press conference were Assistant Minister of Public Health and Housing Dr Annuar Rapaee and Sibu Hospital Director Dr Nanthakumar Thirunavukkarasu. – DayakDaily.