Rural healthcare remains top priority with services, facilities upgrade in Sarawak, Sabah

Lukanisman (second right) addressing a press conference. Also there are Ting (in yellow shirt), Dr Wong (right) and Zulhaidah (second left).

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Dec 17: Rural and remote healthcare will continue to be a top priority in Malaysia under the unity government with plans to improve medical services and upgrade healthcare facilities in both Sarawak and Sabah.

Giving this assurance, Deputy Minister of Health Lukanisman Awang Sauni emphasised that the improvement would include some ‘sick’ projects involving the development of health facilities in rural Sarawak. 


“This priority is to ensure equitable health care provision in Sarawak and Sabah.

“In fact, Sarawak is in the process of drafting a policy paper on health autonomy for the State as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) because we want to avoid maldistribution for healthcare,” he told a press conference after his first official working visit to Miri Hospital here today.

Lukanisman, who is also a Sibuti member of Parliament (MP), pointed out that the unity government is committed to implement healthcare reforms through the Health White Paper which among others will enhance the healthcare services in Sarawak.

“Give us (the unity government) some time to carry out the reforms and enhance the healthcare services, especially in Sarawak and Sabah,” he added.

Commenting on Miri Hospital’s building extension project costing RM289.2 million, Lukanisman said that the construction process is slightly ahead of planned schedule at 43.13 per cent completion compared to 38.51 per cent target. 

The construction of the eight-floor building commenced on June 25, 2020 and if the contractor can keep up with the current progress, the project is expected to be completed 30 days earlier, ahead of the actual completion date of April 29, 2023.

Once completed, the new building with 328 beds is projected to relieve the congestion at Bintulu Hospital, Marudi Hospital, Limbang Hospital and Lawas Hospital.

Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong and his deputy Dr Francis Heng and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak Women chief Zulhaidah Suboh were among those present. — DayakDaily