KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The Ministry of Health (MoH) said today more than 1,000 beds in private hospitals across the country will be used to help treat Covid-19 patients.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said 1,138 beds — including 70 critical care beds — in 97 private hospitals have been identified by the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) for this purpose.
"Recently, the MoH has held several sessions of discussions with private hospital stakeholders, including the [APHM] and several government-linked companies for Covid-19 national pandemic management.
"The government has obtained commitment from several private hospitals to receive referrals and treat Covid-19 patients, depending on their capacity availability and expertise. The health ministry is now studying the proposed partnership mechanism in further details with APHM, the finance ministry and Bank Negara Malaysia," Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement today.
Malaysia's healthcare system has been overwhelmed by a continuing increase in Covid-19 cases recently.
Today, Malaysia reported 3,306 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the latest tally of actives — meaning those who carry high transmission risks — to a fresh high of 38,791. This surpassed the 28,674 patient beds — recorded as at Dec 28, 2020 — that were allocated for Covid-19 treatment nationwide under the public healthcare system.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced an additional Covid-19 aid package worth RM15 billion. Among the initiatives announced, RM100 million would be allocated for private hospitals to treat both Covid-19 patients and non-Covid-19 patients to help alleviate the strain on the public healthcare system.