The status of the Langkawi Hospital will be upgraded to become a major specialist hospital under the 11th Malaysia Plan, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya.
He said, so far, the 103-year-old hospital had a minor specialist hospital status providing only seven areas of expertise and infrastructure planning as well as the provisions of medical specialists were actively underway to meet this higher status.
"When it becomes a major specialist hospital, the people of Langkawi will get a more comprehensive service and need not be referred to the mainland (Peninsular Malaysia) anymore," he said.
He said the government has approved an allocation of about RM500 million to build a new block to accommodate a 230-patient bed as the initial upgrading of the hospital.
"Apart from that, more than 200 quarters for our staff will be built in Air Hangat because I understand it is difficult to rent a house in Langkawi," he said.