Government hospitals will only refer specific selected Covid-19 patients to private hospitals. Those who qualify are ambassadors, expatriates, and those who can afford the cost of private hospital care as well as those who have requested to be moved, said health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a newspaper interview today.
He said non-Covid-19 patients would also be transferred from government hospitals to private hospitals in order to ease the load on government facilities.
However, private hospitals can continue to manage their own patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Noor Hisham and other officials held discussions this afternoon with private hospitals on integrating private and public health services to manage the care of Covid-19 patients.
Those present were the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), Malaysian Medical Association, Malaysian Muslim Doctors Organisation, Federation of Private Medical Practitioners’ Associations Malaysia, Islamic Medical Association Malaysia, and Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia.
Noor Hisham further said the public and private sector must work as a team and “we are all soldiers in this long and tough battle and the nation is depending on us to help overcome this pandemic”, New Straits Times reported.
Health minister Dr Adham Baba questioned the private sector for raising concerns over accepting Covid-19 patients from government hospitals.
“We have been outsourcing non-Covid-19 cases to private hospitals since the second wave. There is no issue here. Now we are also asking them to take in and manage their own Covid-19 patients. Why must they refuse?”
Private healthcare centres have asked that only non-Covid-19 patients be transferred to their facilities to free up public hospitals.
APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh was quoted as saying that not all private hospitals had the capacity and capability to treat and manage Covid-19 cases, such as manpower and facilities in Intensive Care Units.
Kuljit said that while private hospitals were preparing to accept and treat their own Covid-19 patients, the first step would always be to refer patients to public hospitals. - FMT