Friday, March 6, 2009

A Lying Minister: Sabahans Left In The Lurch

Hantu Laut

Nothing could be more shameless than what's happening to the health care in Sabah.The health care system is as sick as a dog and not because of lack of money but because some scumbags are trying to make money out of this malady at the expense of the health of the people of Sabah.

The apathy of the Federal government and the Ministry of Health toward this critical issue is most distasteful and a shame to the Federal leaders who still have not learned their lessons from the 8 March 2008 Elections.Making all kind of promises during elections time and conveniently forget to carry out those promises when they have won.Irionically, they have forgotten, if not for Sabah and Sarawak it would have been Anwar Ibrahim sitting in Puterajaya today, not
Badawi or Najib. There are just too much and endless politiking to prioritise their own interests and leave the people at the mercy of the elements.Do they deserve our support in future elections? I leave it to Sabahans to decide when the time comes.A good deed deserves another and they have done nothing of that sort.As the Malays would say "Tak kenang budi" or "hutang emas boleh dibayar, hutang budi dibawah mati".

When the tower block of the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) was declared structurally unsafe a year ago the state capital lost hundreds of hospital beds, displaced the operating theatre, ICU, surgical department and other crucial sections of the hospital, throwing the health and medical care into utter chaos for those living in and around Kota Kinabalu.Patients have to be sent as far as Sandakan and Tawau because of inadequate beds causing logistic and nonsensical problems for patients,relatives,families and doctors.The bills for all this stupidity is staggering.

Adding insult to injury was the Deputy Minister of Health Abdul Latif Ahmad who came to Sabah and insulted the people of Sabah by saying no budget was made for the new hospital at Kinarut. This is the kind of minister this country has, think Sabahans are stupid and do not know what's going on behind the scene.

How could this liar say they have no budget to build a new hospital when it's common knowledge here that the Ministry of Health is negotiating to buy the SMC (Sabah Medical Centre), a private hospital for a whopping RM460 million. This hospital was built and completed about three years ago for less than RM200 million and with finishes that leaves much to be desired. One have to visit the hospital to see how bad the quality of the building is.

I have first hand knowledge of this hospital because my mother was admitted to this hospital for almost one month the first time and about 2 weeks the second time. It costs me a bomb. The private rooms are the standard of 2 star hotel but charging 5 star price.


This is not the first time this private company is in the business of selling hospitals to the Federal government.The old SMC at Likas was also sold to the Federal government at a pumped up price a few years ago.


Although it's a federal matters the chief minister should have a say in any project involving the state and people of Sabah. The present Chief Minister Musa Aman should not sit on his laurel but must insist on a new hospital to be built on the land provided by the state government.

In fact, as a temporary measure, the government can employ a quick-built system if there are sufficient land space provided by the state.This pre-fabricated structure and panels can be made locally or brought in from China where it is probably cheaper to make.The other alternative is to buy a building and convert it into a hospital. These are the faster and cheaper alternatives.

The most puzzling question is why the Federal government do not utilise about 30 acres of land which came with the old SMC which logically should be the first choice for new extension to accommodate the various departments that have been displaced by the closure of the QEH tower block.In fact, with proper design even the land around the present QEH is sufficient to build new hospital.All the low-rise buildings such as the TB ward, the nurses quarters,the stupid car-park, etc should be removed and to put up multi-storey buildings.

A hospital need not be a one-stop centre where every department is housed under one roof. It would be an ideal situation but not necessary.They can be in different cluster and in different locations.

Paying RM460 million can certainly build a bigger and more magnificent hospital than buying the grossly overpriced SMC and isn't it strange they have the money to buy SMC but have no money to build a new hospital.

Maybe, the MACC should do some investigative work on this case.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

you are dreaming if you think that MACC would be interested in anything of this sort!

they are too busy with the opposition in Perak.

jo

Y1 said...

Hantu, dream on lah. As a KK resident, the shenanigan of lining one's pocket has gone on so long that it has become a culture. No money no talk.

Did not know the new hospital is going to be in Kinarut. What are they going to do with the old hospital? Turn it into a high class condomium/hotel?

kittykat46 said...

A very dedicated doctor friend of mine who was working in Sabah quit her job in the government hospital system, because she just couldn't stand anymore the trauma of coping with the totally inadequate medical facilities.

You've been to Putrajaya haven't you ? The grand buildings...a country which has the resources to build those palaces, refused to put even a fraction of it into medical care in the interior of Sabah.

SM said...

HL,

The apathy of the Federal Govt (i.e. the BN Govt)? The Federal Govt. does not give a "Rat's Ass" (I'm being polite here) about Sabah (or Sarawak).
The Deputy Health Minister insulting Sabahans? The BN Govt (let's be honest here) knows they can screw the Sabahans (& Sarawakians) & then come Election time, give these natives a few Ringgit & all will be forgotten (they have not been wrong here I guess).
MACC investigate? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! I had to laugh at that one! You don't seriously think that the MACC is "real" do you (especially after what their Chief said about not finding any evidence of Money Politics in UMNO)? Hahahahahahaha!
Bro,for someone I consider highly intelligent, you sure are naive sometimes!

Anonymous said...

Hantu,

Tarak faham lah...here you whacked BN like hell but otherwise you still want them there? Also, your ardent argument supporting the new BN 'government' in Perak testify to this.

It's like intentionally inviting a confirmed thief to be a guest in your house, isn't it?

Do you serious expert some divine change in the thief? But you know, we are not talking about a 'thief' here, we are talking about 'thieves'. Too much too ask ,isn't it?

Why are you so complicated?

Be simple, man....stop seeing it in Najib vs Anwar vs Pak Lah sort of perspective. Just let the change come...Embrace the change, man. The current one failed, let's change it. You don't like Anwar, I also don't like Anwar, we'll fight him together later, ok......sure, the will be thieves in PR also, but they are not with 'confirmed' status yet....One allegedly stole cows for korban, man...I mean, what the heck, I don't mind that....
..

It is the struggle of the people and for the people.

Best regards,
Jimbo

Hantu Laut said...

SM,
It's a suggestion only.I have my doubt if anything of that sort will happen.We all know that it is wine in new bottle and a weapon of selective destruction.

This buying of the SMC is a MCA deal.As you may well be aware the Ministry of Health is always under MCA.

Whatever it is,it's still taxpayers money.

HHunter said...

The new QEH in Kinarut? Gosh it sound as if there really are no land space in KK for such an important service. That's what the Federal and State governments made it to appear like. Bloody liars. I know for some, there are many abandoned Federal lands in KK which these jokers are keeping their eyes blind on. Let me name some.
1) 15 acres at Tanjung Aru next to Shangri-La Resort
2)The Ex Telekom Land in Inanam = 6 Acres
3)The Telekom Training Centre at Menggatal.. 50 acres. Unoccupied
4) The RTM Radio Station Land at Kepayan along Jalan Lintas - 5 acres
So what have these jokers got to say.

guong said...

sir,
surprise..surprise

Kota Kinabalu: The Ministry of Health (MOH) has been commended for quickly relocating patients from the deteriorating Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) here to other hospitals.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) President, Datuk Khoo Kah Lin, said the MOH must be praised for the swift response to the "unforeseen crisis".

How much lower can they sink? talk about lying..

Anonymous said...

whos the owner of smc? money trails will lead to the same cronies within BN.

as an aside, the fisheries dpt just woke up to join other govt depts in screwing the nation. fishermen are now required to buy plastic containers from only one manufacturer. and you know what, the price is 250 quid each. Not too expensive if alternative in the market is from 80 to 150 quid each. All the NEP has produced are a bunch of rent seekers working hand in hand with the Govt!

Anonymous said...

HL,

buying SMC is a MCA deal? No MCA deal go can thru without the endorsement of its bigger brother, UMNO. They will get a big slice too.
try cutting out big brother and MACC will be at its most efficient way.

SON OF THE YELLOW DRAGON said...

Guys, you know what to do with those stupid MCA morons in Sabah. Please kick their ass next election.These Sabahan are good for nothing and also to our MPs from Sabah please don't sit on your laurel. Speak up in parliament and don't just suck up to your master! You owe it to all Sabahan. Your family may need the mediacal services too!

Anonymous said...

I received this email today. I do not know whether the contents are true but it makes good reading.

Dear Health Minister,

Ali, a 32-year-old road traffic accident victim, travelled three hours from a district in Sabah and arrived in Kota Kinabalu six hours after the initial trauma. After the initial assessment in the emergency department, a CT scan of the head and abdomen was ordered to exclude intracranial bleeding and intraabdominal injury.

He was whisked back onto an ambulance to the privately-owned Sabah Medical Center (SMC) for the required scans. After the ten-minute procedure, he was repacked into the ambulance back to Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to undergo further assessment while awaiting the results of his blood tests and X-rays. His scans and X-rays were reviewed.

Ali was found to have a lacerated liver and a fractured long bone with multiple superficial wounds. He was then prepared for emergency surgery.

For that, the young man was then re-wheeled into the ambulance and headed once again to the SMC where the operating theatre and intensive care unit of QEH are currently housed. By the time surgery starts, it was already nine hours from the time of his motor vehicle accident.

My story hasn’t finished, Mr Minister.

One hour into the operation, our young chap bled tremendously that he required more blood products to sustain life. It would not be another hour or so before the blood products arrive from the blood bank of QEH to the SMC.

You see YB, blood has to be taken from the patient and passed to a house officer. The house officer will fill in the necessary forms and hand them over to an attendant. The attendant will wait for a chartered bus or ambulance to head back to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital or rather, what remains of it.

Back in QEH, the attendant will wait 45 minutes for the blood to be cross-matched and then wait a while more for the arrival of a chartered bus or ambulance to ferry him (or her) back to SMC.

Anyway, being a fit and healthy young man previously, Ali survived the operation. He was admitted to the ICU and needed a repeated chest X-ray.

For that, the radiography team in QEH is informed. The duo will then take a the chartered bus or ambulance to SMC to perform the X-ray. Shooting an X-ray takes all but two minutes. Processing the cassette will take another five.

However, the processing is done back in the hospital and delivered by the next available ambulance back to SMC. By the time the X-ray films reach the patient, it could be anything from three to twelve hours later.

Dear Yang Berkhidmat (YB) Liow,

I hope you notice the unacceptable predicament our Sabahan patients (and medical staff) are facing currently. It is already six months since the initial and abrupt closure of Kota Kinabalu’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Since then, we have been without a proper operating theatre and intensive care unit.

We are also without distinctive wards for many of our surgical patients of most disciplines. Frankly speaking, the health crisis of the state of Sabah has run so deep and so far along that I do not where to begin.

I will instead serve an eye-opening fact to you, Mr. Liow. At the height of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) epidemic, the the communist government of the People’s Republic of China erected a 1,000-bed hospital within seven days.

Work on the Xiaotangshan Hospital started on April 24, 2003 and was completed on April 30, with 7,000 workers and 500 machines tirelessly on duty around the clock. Far from being a melamine-laced structure, the Xiaotangshan Hospital is equipped with the then state-of-the-art anti-infective measures and facilities.

The structure built within a week is still standing firm six years later today, ready to house any ill and potentially infective patient in the event of any unforeseen health crisis.

Mr Health Minister,

That is exactly what Sabahans are in right now – a health crisis. The Barisan Nasional government chants ‘Malaysia Boleh’ like some proverbial battle-cry but the Sabah state health crisis has proven that empty vessels make the most noise.

Unlike MCA members, not everyone enjoys being labeled a ‘squatter’. For six months, the medical staff and patients of Sabah have been housed in sections of the Sabah Medical Center paying a whooping rental of RM 90,000 per day.

For five months since our forced relocation into your prized SMC, we only had one operating room for life-threatening emergency cases. Elective surgeries were postponed indefinitely even those involving cancers and prostates and suspicious breast lumps.

We only restarted elective surgeries a month ago but even so, the backlog of cases is tremendous and catastrophic. I wonder Mr Minister, how would you like to have a tumor growing in your rectum with no avenue of getting it removed?

That is exactly what our poor Sabah folk are facing. They were without money and without a hospital to get operated in. In fact, they still don’t because they do not have a formal general hospital for Kota Kinabalu anymore.

Heck, we don’t even have our own CT scan. What we do have, however, is lots of bills to pay and debts to settle.

Is it true that the state department of health owes SMC a total of RM 6.1 million for CT scan services? Is it true that Hantaran Wira, the company contracted to provide transport to and fro SMC-QEH is paid RM500,000 per month?

Mr. Minister,

You owe the 3.4 million population of Sabah a lot of answers for wasted lives and needless deaths. Money cannot solve all problems in life. Thank you for listening.