Patients in Klang Valley public hospitals who are not being treated for Covid-19 are to be transferred to private hospitals immediately. This is to make space for more Covid-19 patients in public healthcare.
According to a letter addressed to Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) president Dr Kuljit Singh, the government directive came into force yesterday.
“The transfer of patients must be done immediately from the date of this letter (July 20) while the acceptance letter is prepared,” the letter from Health Ministry secretary-general Mohd Shafiq Abdullah read.
The cost of treatment for patients transferred to private hospitals will be borne by the government up to a certain limit, the letter stated.
“All transferred patients must receive due treatment with costs as stated in the guideline.
“However, it is the obligation of the private sector to complete the treatment.
“Any costs which go beyond the stipulated ceiling costs will be reimbursed upon review by the Health Ministry,” Mohd Shafiq said.
According to the ministry’s guideline for the outsourcing of non-Covid patients to private hospitals, the ceiling cost per patient is as follows:
- Bed charges: The lowest available in the ward
- Surgery costs: RM45,000
- Non-surgery costs: RM25,000
- Follow-up costs: RM5,000
The guideline also stated that private hospitals must inform the ministry if more than three follow-ups are required after discharge.
This does not include radiotherapy, the guideline read.
Private hospitals are also not allowed to transfer the patients to another private hospital without the ministry’s approval.
When contacted, Kuljit said APHM members will follow the government’s directive.
“We are happy to help and at the moment many patients have been decanted, since last night. The process is very smooth.
“Our aim is to help the government to create more space for Covid-19 patients at their facilities,” he said.
Malaysiakini has also contacted the Health Ministry for comment.
All private ICU beds for Covid-19 patients fully occupied
Earlier, he said 100 percent of Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in private hospitals in the Klang Valley have been taken up by Category 5 Covid-19 patients.
The Health Ministry earlier this month announced a slew of reinforcements to support hospitals in the Klang Valley, the current epicentre of the outbreak in Malaysia.
They include mobilising 6,500 healthcare workers from other states, purchasing more supplies for public hospitals, and working with private hospitals to set up more Low-risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres and Covid-19 Assessment Centres.
It also set up a Covid-19 taskforce for the greater Klang Valley area, headed by the minister’s deputy director-general (public health) Dr Chong Chee Keong.
The Klang Valley is also prioritised in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan through Operation Surge Capacity which aims to vaccinate all individuals aged 18 and above, registered for the vaccine in the Klang Valley by Aug 1.
Those who are unvaccinated in the area after Aug 1, including undocumented migrants, will be able to walk into selected vaccine centres for their injection.