Probe into delay of new Lawas Hospital, says PKR Woman chief

Agnes Padan

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Dec 30: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak Woman chief Agnes Padan is calling on the government to investigate the construction of the new Lawas Hospital which was delayed.

Agnes said the building of the new Lawas Hospital has been long overdue and has deprived the people of Lawas of good medical facilities and healthcare services.

Thus, she pointed out that there must be a full Parliamentary enquiry into the reasons for the postponement of the hospital construction.

“The people of Lawas, a population of around 40,000, have been waiting more than 24 years for a new hospital facility after being promised one in 1996, under the 7 th Malaysia Plan (7MP).

“Three collapsed hospital tenders and hundreds of millions of ringgit later, the people of Lawas are still waiting.

“At present, RM175 million has been allocated a third time to build a 74-bed hospital, surely making this one of the most expensive and prolonged hospital projects in the history of Malaysia.

“The project is meant to take 182 weeks and be completed by August 2023.

“At present, the land where the hospital is meant to be erected is still a pile of mud with a few token tractors,” she said in a media statement.

Agnes who is also a healthcare and social activist said the government ought to look into the matter and provide an explanation to the people of Lawas.

She believed rural Sarawakians need access to better healthcare and mobile social services next year.

She noted accessibility of healthcare services was a major challenge especially for chronic disease patients like cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Citing a stage four cancer patient who was unable to obtain healthcare services during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, Agnes called on the government to speed up the construction of the new Lawas Hospital.

She also noted that Lawas Hospital does not have certain expertise such as a renal specialist for kidney patients.

Besides, Agnes said some patients and people in Lawas were not able to have access to the welfare assistance provided by the government due to the issue of not having proper documentation.

Hence, she calls on the state government to use the state reserve funds to provide better healthcare facilities and to transform the social care of the people in the rural areas of Sarawak. —DayakDaily