Great urgency needed to complete abandoned hospital projects : Miri MP

Dr Michael Teo

KUCHING, Aug 29: Miri MP Dr Michael Teo wants the government to take proactive steps in completing abandoned hospital projects throughout Sarawak.

He pointed out Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) in Kuching which was not able to cater to the rising number of patients, especially now with the Covid-19 crisis.

“Time is of essence and each human life is precious. I look very seriously into the issue of inadequate beds in SGH especially in this pandemic period.

“Many patients have to lie in the emergency unit and the corridor while waiting for beds to be vacated so to receive treatment,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Teo, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sabah and Sarawak vice president, also highlighted that in 2013, the government had proposed to build Petra Jaya Hospital which would be equipped with 300 beds.

“But until today after seven years, the project is still abandoned and only 30 per cent completed.

“I urged the Public Works Department (PWD) to implement works with greater responsibility and have greater sense of urgency,” he added.

Even though the construction of hospitals was not as straightforward as building schools, he emphasised that seven to 10 years is a long period of time to complete a hospital.

“The project now under the PWD especially Petra Jaya Hospital, Lawas Hospital and Sri Aman Hospital should have been taken over by the Health Ministry,” he said.

The people of Sarawak, he stressed, have all the rights to have access to quality healthcare services.

“Sarawakians cannot wait for years without comprehensive services as it will affect the safety and lives of mothers, children and the elderly,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister II Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang had informed the August house recently that the construction of Petra Jaya Hospital was at the evaluation of tender stage for contractors.

He explained that the contract to build the hospital had to be re-tendered following the termination of the contractor in August 2018 due to unsatisfactory work.

The letter of acceptance for the successful contractor, he added, was expected to be issued in January 2021.

As for the Sri Aman Hospital, Aaron explained that the completion of the project, which was scheduled to be operational by June next year, will be further delayed for at least another six more months due to several unavoidable circumstances including the Covid-19 pandemic which had resulted in work to be at a standstill for four months.

The work on the RM180.8 million hospital was now 83 per cent completed and the contractor had reassured that the project will be completed by February next year.

For the Lawas Hospital, the final phase of the project was supposed to start in February this year and be completed in 2023 at a cost of RM175 million. —DayakDaily