Guan Eng says Penang needs more field hospitals

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said more field hospitals are needed in Penang to handle the state’s growing number of Covid-19 patients.

According to the Bagan MP, the Penang’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed utilization rate is now 96.6 percent, ranking the state second in the country.

Lim suggested that Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin investigate the possibility of establishing more field hospitals with additional intensive care units in Covid-19 hotspots such as Seberang Jaya, Nibong Tebal, and Balik Pulau.

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In a statement, Khairy said that Penangites were still grateful for the Armed Forces’ prompt completion of a field hospital with 96 ordinary beds and four beds for the intensive care units (ICUs) at the Penang General Hospital Car Park. “However, with the ICU bed utilization nearly reaching full capacity, Khairy should consider building more field hospitals for Penang,” he said.

On September 11, Khairy said that a field hospital will be constructed on the grounds of the public hospital parking lot in order to accommodate additional Covid-19 patients in the city of Penang.

The Malaysian Armed Forces started the construction of the field hospital on September 16 with about 23 tents put up on an area with a measure of 2,300 sqm. The field hospital is anticipated to be operational within a few weeks.

Lim also recommended that Khairy use the additional RM5 billion funds allocated to his Ministry as part of the RM45 billion fund injection in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal government and Pakatan Harapan on September 13 in order to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic recession in the country’s economy. In his opinion, the RM5 billion could be used to not only conduct nationwide mass test screening, but also to increase manpower by hiring contract doctors on a permanent basis and to improve health support services such as intensive care units (ICU) and ICU beds.

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