State govt to request its share on health funding from Federal govt

Dr Sim Kui Hian

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, June 12: The Sarawak government will soon throw in its bid to obtain its share over the federal funding for health related matters.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian disclosed that the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) had recently forwarded a long list of necessary medical equipment worth about RM4 million to RM5 million to the State government.

“The Sarawak government will sit down with the Federal government in the near future to deliberate on obtaining its share on medical supplies.

“Because we know that from the National Security Council (NSC), the federal government has given quite a substantial amount of money to the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“Sarawak should get our share even though we’ve got our own money because we pay tax and contribute a substantial amount of revenues to the country,” he told reporters after witnessing the handing over of three units of Airvo 2 humidifier from Malaysian Buddhist Association Sarawak to the SGH today.

One humidifier unit was also donated by the Association to the Sibu Hospital.

The Airvo 2 humidifier.

Developed by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare company based in New Zealand, the Airvo 2 is a humidifier with integrated flow generator that delivers high flow warmed and humidified respiratory gases to spontaneously breathing patients through a variety of patient interfaces. One unit costs about RM25,000.

Dr Sim expressed gratitude towards the Association for its generous donation which would serves as an inspiration and encouragement for all the medical frontliners that have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the Sarawak government had also approved the purchase of 10 units of the humidifier about two weeks ago.

“Even though health is under the federal list which means that the federal government should fund for all these medical supplies, but we cannot stand idly since Sarawakian lives are at stake.

“Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether it is a federal funding, State funding or the non-governmental organisation (NGO) funding, we still serve the same purpose that is to serve as many Sarawakians as possible,” he added.

Dr Sim (third right) with others at the handing over of three units of Airvo 2 humidifiers from the Malaysian Buddhist Association Sarawak to SGH.

He further encouraged more parties to come forward and provide support and contributions for the frontliners as well as reminded the community at large to play their part in preventing Covid-19 spread.

“If you want to contribute, please contribute positively, not putting people down or bully people because it’s not a time for disunity amidst fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

On vaccination, Dr Sim explained that a substantial amount of vaccines are coming into the State starting this month.

“Everyone will get their first dose of vaccine very soon. With the way that we are rolling out the vaccines and people stepping up themselves without the need for us to give instruction, I believe that Sarawak will definitely complete its vaccination by August, making it the first State to complete the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (Pick),” he said.

Asked if there is any plans to turn public spaces such as shopping malls into a vaccination center, Dr Sim explained that it depends on the minimum resources available and the necessary requirements to set up one.

“Shopping malls are built for shopping and not built for vaccination. For other industrial vaccination centres (PPVIs), there is no question that shopping malls can become a place but setting up one is not easy.

“You cannot just decide to set up a PPV and then just bring all the necessary medical equipment just to vaccinate several people.

“The Ministry of International Trade and Investment, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) Sarawak has recently held a dialogue with interested parties and it had also stressed that they need enough qualified doctors and nurses in order for the PPV to operate,” he elaborated.

Also present during the event were the Association’s president Datuk Seri Tay Chin Kin, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Kuching Branch youth assistant publicity chief Eric Tay Tze Kok, SGH director Dr Ngian Hie Ung and Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) Sarawak representative Dr Kalwinder Singh Khaira. — DayakDaily