By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, July 26: The intake for doctors and nurses to serve government health facilities in the state will increase to meet the needs of several new health clinics and hospitals.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said despite the moratorium to freeze the intake of more civil servants in the country overall, his ministry has convinced the Public Service Department (JPA) to increase the number of staff for medical services.
“We know there is a moratorium to freeze the intake of civil service overall but for medical services, which is an essential service, we are remapping.
“We convinced the JPA to allow us to increase the number of posting for medical services considering the expansion of facilities and services in Sarawak.
“So we will have more intake for doctors and nurses in years to come,” he told reporters after the earth breaking ceremony for the Siburan Health Clinic near here, today.
The RM28.7 million clinic, with the capacity to accommodate about 500 patients daily, is expected to be completed by December, 2021.
The clinic would also be equipped with outpatient unit, maternal and child clinic, dental clinic, X-ray services, labs and staff quarters, Dr Lee said.
He added that the federal government is committed to improving the health facilities in Sarawak.
Some of the health clinics that would be set up included Tabuan Jaya and Serian, with construction to start this year, two urban clinics in Daro and Miri, nine rural clinics, a new block for the Miri Hospital, as well as the Petra Jaya and Sri Aman hospitals.
He added that a burn unit had just been completed in Bintulu Hospital and expected to be operational soon.
On the progress of the Petra Jaya and Sri Aman hospitals, Dr Lee said contractors have been appointed and would begin continuation work towards the end of this year.
Earlier this year, he had said that despite the delay, the RM200 million Sri Aman hospital, which was a sick project, was expected to be completed in 2020.
Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin expressed gratitude for the construction of the Siburan clinic. He said the constituents have been waiting for the project to materialise over the past 16 years.
Once completed, the new clinic would bring great relief for the people of Puncak Borneo, including Siburan and surrounding areas, as the current clinic, built in 1964, was in a dilapidated state and very congested.
“The current clinic, which is located on the other side of Siburan town is handling between 200 and 300 patients daily.” — DayakDaily