Turning to private sector to cut cost

MIRI: The Ministry of Health is mulling asking private hospitals to accept medical graduates doing their housemanship in a bid to reduce the huge cost incurred by the government in sponsoring their training.

This idea was revealed by Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam yesterday at the ground-breaking ceremony of KPJ Miri Specialist Hospital.

“Experienced doctors leave government hospitals upon completing their postings to practise in the private sector. There is nothing wrong with this because the country practises a free economy system,” he said.

“However, the main concern is that the government bears a huge cost in training these doctors; hence, the proposition is to seek cooperation from the private sector to share the burden by sponsoring young doctors for a period of time.”

Dr Subramaniam said the idea was a win-win proposition for private hospitals as well because it would allow the hospitals to train new medical graduates and later employed them.

He added that although this idea was still at the proposal stage, the ministry was hopeful it could be implemented.

Dr Subramaniam said statistics of total expenditure in health industry showed that private medical facilities played a big role in the nation’s healthcare.

“Of the total health expenditure of RM45 billion, the government spent RM23 billion setting up medical facilities, while RM22 billion was spent by the private sector for a similar purpose,” he said.

“We very much appreciated it because if there is no private medical health facilities where the people could go to as an option, the government alone had to bear a huge burden to meet the healthcare needs of Malaysians.”

Dr Subramaniam said besides providing private healthcare services to the locals, his ministry was looking at opportunities to develop medical tourism in Miri by attracting people from Brunei, Kalimantan and Indonesia.

The proposed 180-bed KPJ Miri Specialist Hospital, located within the commercial hub of Bandar Baru Permyjaya, is KPJ’s third hospital in Sarawak.

The seven-storey specialist hospital is projected to cost over RM100 million and is scheduled to open its doors by 2018.

Also present at the event were Minister of Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who represented Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem; Assistant Minister of Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin; KPJ president and managing director Dato Aminuddin Abdul Satar; senior vice president of Johor Corporation and executive director of KPJ, Aminudin Dawam; KPJ Miri chairman Dato Abdol Wahab Baba; Naim Holdings chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi; Naim Holdings managing director Datuk Hasmi Hasnan; Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting and Mayor Adam Yii.

Source: The Borneo Post