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.