SGH eye doctor to be posted as temporary measure to tackle doctor shortage in Sibu Hospital

A file photo of Sibu Hospital.

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KUCHING, June 30: An ophthalmologist from the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) will be posted to Sibu Hospital for two weeks each month from July until September to address the shortage of doctors there.

Health director Dr Ooi Choo Huck said the temporary measure is being implemented while waiting for the permanent posting of an ophthalmologist in October.

“In addition to this, the number of medical officers will also be increased starting from July with two contract doctors, followed by three more in August, bringing the total number of medical officers to 10.

“Currently, one specialist and five medical officers are serving at Hospital Sibu’s Ophthalmology Clinic,” he said in a statement issued yesterday (June 29).

Dr Ooi’s statement was in response to a news report published by a national daily on June 27, highlighting a notice in Sibu Hospital’s Ophthalmology Specialist Clinic, informing the public of longer waiting periods due to the shortage of specialists and medical officers.

In the notice, the clinic also advised patients to be patient while waiting as the issue is expected to persist until more specialists and medical officers are added.

Apologising in advance for the difficulties patients may encounter, the Ophthalmology Clinic also advised patients to raise any dissatisfaction or complaints through the appropriate channels.

On this, Dr Ooi explained that the notice was issued as a preemptive measure to reduce dissatisfaction among patients who experienced longer waiting time, especially those with appointments.

“Sibu Hospital’s Ophthalmology Clinic was experiencing an increase in the number of patients, with 1,446 in April and 1,601 in May.

“Meanwhile, the percentage of patients who were examined in less than 60 minutes fell from 75 per cent in April to 65 per cent in May,” he said.

Furthermore, Dr Ooi added that the waiting period to undergo cataract surgery after examination had increased from two months to three or four months.

“The Sarawak Health Department take these issues involving patients seriously. As such, we will ensure that the best treatment is given to all patients and efforts will be made to improve the quality of our services,” he assured. — DayakDaily