Mukah Hospital’s ultrasound machine ‘sick’, Tellian rep calls for urgent improvements

Roystan participating in debate on TYT address in the DUN Sitting on May 18, 2023.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 18: The ultrasound machine currently in use at Mukah Hospital is so ‘sick’, estimated to have been in operation for nearly 30 years, that starting it up will require a gentle knock and tap due to its old and outdated state.

Tellian assemblyman Royston Valentine raised this in emphasising the pressing need for improvements from staffing shortages to outdated equipment and furniture as the hospital struggles to meet the healthcare needs of the community it serves.

“The hospital urgently requires two ultrasound machines for the Emergency Unit and Outpatient Department. Each unit is estimated to cost between RM150,000 to RM200,000,” he said when debating the TYT address in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

While Mukah Hospital is not spared from well-known issues such as shortage of specialist doctors and the need for upgraded medical facilities, Royston pointed out that these isolated problems also require immediate attention from the government.

“On staffing, the hospital falls short of the required number of medical officers, with only six out of 11 currently stationed because some have been transferred or left to pursue further studies.

“Similarly, the number of nurses is also insufficient to accommodate the increasing number of patients admitted to the ward. As a result, some nurses are forced to work double shifts to cover for colleagues on maternity leave,” he explained.

In addition, Royston also mentioned that the hospital’s furniture in the wards and examination rooms, along with existing equipment, show significant signs of wear and often fail to function correctly.

“This not only hampers the delivery of services but also impacts the overall quality of care provided,” he added.

With that, Royston called on the Sarawak government to assist by taking prompt and appropriate action, as waiting for action from the Federal government may result in substantial delay, stressing that matters related to health services cannot be taken lightly.

Noting that it is essential to consider long-term solutions to overcome the healthcare issues in Mukah, he asked if the government has plans to build a polyclinic in Mukah to focus on outpatient services, as this approach would allow the existing hospital to be transformed into a specialised facility. — DayakDaily