By Geryl Ogilvy
SERIAN, Jan 24: Three health clinics will be set up in Serian, Siburan and Tabuan Jaya to ease congestion at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) and Serian Hospital.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said RM30 million would be allocated for the building of the Serian Health Clinic under the ministry’s 2020 budget, while construction of the health clinics in Siburan and in Tabuan Jaya, Kuching, was expected to start this year.
“Putrajaya will provide allocation for the health clinic project in Serian next year, which is estimated at RM30 million. The health clinic projects in Siburan and Tabuan Jaya, estimated at RM40 million each, will start this year,” he told reporters after his working visit to Serian Hospital here today.
The land clearing and filling works (Phase 1) of the Serian Health Clinic project has been completed, but the federal government did not provide allocation for its construction under the 2019 Budget.
Citing the importance of building the health clinic in Serian to ease congestion at Serian Hospital, Dr Lee assured that allocation would be provided next year.
“The main problem with Serian Hospital right now is space. Parking is not sufficient and its outpatient treatment, as well as accident and emergency units, is very crowded.
“With regards to space, we are looking to build a health clinic in Serian. Once this clinic is completed, the outpatient treatment department will be moved there to ease patient congestion at Serian Hospital.
“Then we can expand the accident and emergency department as well as enlarge the carpark area,” he said.
The Serian Health Clinic project is part of long-term planning to improve healthcare services in the division and also to help lessen patient congestion at SGH, he shared.
It is understood that the lack of specialist doctors in Serian Hospital had led to many opting to seek treatment or being referred to SGH in Kuching.
“We are also looking to overcome the lack of specialists in Serian Hospital. Currently, the hospital receives scheduled visits from psychiatrists and paediatricians.
“We will try to acquire more physicians, surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists for the hospital, which is currently supported by specialists from SGH. Only non-emergency operations are carried out at Serian Hospital at the moment,” he continued.
Dr Lee agreed that in the long run, once the healthcare services in Serian Hospital improve, it would inadvertently help to lessen congestion at SGH. — DayakDaily