Monday, 24 May 2010

Hospital Ward overcrowding

Our medical and health services are in a state of crises or chaos. Since about September 2008 we have been without a tertiary hospital in Kota Kinabalu. Our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is truly “Rumah Sakit”. How long more do Sabahans have to suffer?
The problem of overcrowding has become the norm in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is so bad that some patients are forced to sleep on the floor. And with the building of a new hospital no way in sight, and the RM245 Million takeover of Sabah Medical Centre mere talk, our sick loved ones have no choice but to seek treatment on the floor.
The overcrowding is also not confined to QEH, but also to the SMC wards, where 4-5 patients are put into rooms meant for two patients.


There has also been many cases of patients forced to go home even though their treatment is not completed due to this overcrowding. What happened to their quality of care.
Coupled to this our sick loved ones are transported around like playing musical chairs among five medical centres of QEH-SMC-Hospital Likas-Hospital Bukit Padang-Lingzhi Museum. Continuity of medical care is almost impossible as patients lose case notes and investigations are lost leading to repeating investigations and more cost and discomfort to the already sick patients.
Another important consideration of the overcrowding is the nosocomial (Hospital based) infections, where due
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to the close proximity of patients, infection eg. aerosol or droplet are easily spread. Get admitted for a minor disease and get discharged with a major one.
The doctors and nurses are also forced to work in such deplorable conditions where one doctor even wrote an open letter to our Minister of Health, describing the wards are like  refugee camps. The medical staff are also running around treating, escorting and trying to find patients that have become lost in the five medical centre medical maze.