Dr Noor Hisham acknowledges private health sector’s support in Covid-19 fight

Keertan Ayamany
·2-min read
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on November 11, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on November 11, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday extended his ministry’s appreciation of the private health sector for its role in the nation's efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

This comes at a time when the government is continuously looking to better involve the private health sector as its resources are stretched to the limit fighting the pandemic’s third wave of infections.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) appreciates the cooperation with registered private medical bodies and private labs that are MoH certified in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia,” he wrote on his Facebook page last night.

Dr Noor Hisham was responding to a post by his deputy, Datuk Dr Rohaizat Yon, on the Program Perubatan KKM Facebook page. In it, he had detailed the ways the MoH is working with the private health sector:

1. Cooperation with private hospitals

Through collaboration with the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM), MoH has outsourced medical services, including surgeries and medical procedures for non-Covid-19 patients which were delayed as a result of the outbreak.

The services offered are priced at a discount.

Dr Rohaizat said that a total of RM49 million had been allocated for 3,764 surgeries or procedures in 19 clinical disciplines — involving 23 government hospitals and 31 private hospitals.

2. Cooperation with private laboratories

To date, 20 private labs are running Covid-19 tests in Malaysia.

MoH has 26 labs, along with 16 labs from other government agencies including universities.

This total of 62 laboratories nationwide has a capacity of running 59,485 tests per day with private labs accounting for 39,996 tests per day.

It is important to note that these labs are not involved in the process of obtaining samples, and only perform tests on the samples they receive.

3. Covid-19 screening in private facilities including private medical clinics

Certain private health facilities are also involved in obtaining samples and testing the samples at facilities themselves.

Private facilities that do not have in-house means to test samples, will send the samples to a private medical laboratory that has been accredited by MoH.

To date, 432 private medical clinics, nine ambulatory care centers and 123 private hospitals are involved in providing these services.

4. Assistance of medical resources and manpower from the private health sector

The private sector is also providing MoH with assistance including equipment such as ventilators, personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as a boost to its workforce with physicians, medical officers, assistant medical officers, nurses and allied health personnel.

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