Written By : Syazmin
PETALING JAYA: The health ministry is forming a rapid response unit to deliver oxygen supplies to states with surging Covid-19 hospitalisations so they can be better prepared for shortages like those seen in Sabah.
At today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the surge in cases in Sabah had been addressed with the ministry setting up field hospitals and getting oxygen supplies to the affected areas.
“During the surge in Sabah, the health ministry added oxygen supply in the state. In Tawau, the ministry also set up a 100-bed field hospital,” he told Shafie Apdal (Warisan-Semporna).
“The ministry will now set up a rapid deployment unit to ensure oxygen can be delivered quickly to the states affected by Covid-19 new variants in the future.
“This is to ensure the same thing does not happen again.”
Khairy also said the ministry was aiming to increase the bed per capita count as part of the soon-to-be-tabled 12th Malaysia Plan.
Currently, he said, there are 2.01 beds per 1,000 people but the ministry would try to increase it to 2.08 per 1,000.
This would be an extension of the increase included in the last Malaysia plan, which saw ICU beds increase from 55,952 to 65,558 in the five years since the plan was tabled in 2016.
It would be achieved both by building new hospitals and by improving resources in existing ones.
“The focus is on existing hospitals in areas of high bed occupancies and high populations,” he said.