KUALA LUMPUR: Private hospitals have reached their capacity for the intake of Covid-19 patients.
Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said most private hospitals were no longer able to accept these patients.
“Over the past two weeks, they have recorded a steep acceleration in beds occupied, within designated wards and ICU (intensive care unit) beds.
“Even ICU beds are filled up.”
He said that most private hospitals, particuarly those in the Klang Valley, were no longer able to accept Covid-19 patients.
Dr Kuljit said that the situation was grim as government facilities in the Klang Valley and possibly in Johor were fast filling up with the current increase in patients.
“Our hope is the public will take this shortage of beds in hospitals seriously and be responsible in making sure the spread is curtailed and all preventive SOPs are adhered.
“The biggest fear would be if we face a healthcare shut-down because of non-availabity of beds and oxygen treatment.”
He further reiterated his call to the government to decant non-Covid-19 patients to their facilities to give public hospitals space to handle those with the infections.
Dr Kuljit also said that it should be done at the cost that was agreed on last year, and that the bill for the patients should be fully funded by the government.
The Emergency Ordinance was put to effect in January during the height of the previous spike in infections in order to allow authorities to take over private healthcare resources and reduce the burden on public healthcare.
However, private hospitals were reluctant as the question on who would bore the cost still lingered.
Rejecting patients came at the risk of coughing up a fine of RM5 million or jail time for the operators of the facilities, and few insurers were willing to offer Covid-19 treatment coverage.
This situation was however, resolved when the government said that these facilities were empowered to treat Covid-19 patients who can afford to pay for the medical costs and treatment themselves.