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KUCHING, Oct 5: Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew has called on the Federal government to either increase funding to upgrade Sibu Hospital or decentralise the management of healthcare to Sarawak.
He recalled that Sarawak healthcare came under the local councils before the formation of Malaysia and was managed well.
After the formation of Malaysia, Lau noted that all decisions on healthcare in Sarawak was concentrated in Putrajaya, which made it “inefficient” with many teething problems.
Thus, he said Sarawak sought autonomy over healthcare system in Sarawak with the yearly budget based proportionately on the needs of the people in Sarawak apart from more funding from Ministry of Health (MoH).
“Does MoH intend to increase funding to upgrade Sibu Hospital?
“Apart from increase funding, the other solution is simple; decentralise the management of healthcare to the State,” he said in his speech in Parliament today.
Likewise, Lau said the Sarawak government has stepped up to assist MoH in fighting Covid-19 by spending RM340 million for the purchase of medical equipment, cost borne for Sarawakians quarantined in hotels, cost of distribution of vaccines, setting up of vaccination centres (PPV), food for frontliners and so forth.
He noted that the funding provided by the federal government through MoH was insufficient to meet the healthcare needs for the people in Sarawak, especially in Sibu Hospital.
Lau cited one example was the faulty ventilators sent to Sibu Hospital by MoH in September last year.
Lau pointed out that the current Covid-19 situation on the ground was very bad as there were not enough beds for Covid-19 patients and some patients were put in the emergency wards.
He revealed that there were 273 Covid-19 patients in Sibu while there were only 28 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in Sibu Hospital.
He added Sibu Hospital is the main referral hospital serving the people from Daro, Igan, Dalat and Mukah. — DayakDaily