(Seated from left): Dr Fong, Dr Sim, Yii, Dr Wong and others in a photocall after the press conference.
MIRI: The construction of the second public hospital here needs to be expedited to meet the increasing population in northern Sarawak.
Local Government Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kian Hui said the new hospital, besides easing the already very congested hospital at Lopeng, would also act as a backup hospital should there be any severe outbreak of contagious diseases like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) where the hospital had to be closed.
“We need to have a second public hospital as backup as the city expands. Can you imagine during peak hours when there is an emergency, one has to take one hour to reach the hospital. I can only wish you good luck,” said Dr Sim at a press conference yesterday.
Mayor of Miri City Council Adam Yii, director of Miri Hospital Dr Jack Wong, Dr Lau Kent Ter and consultant cardiologist of Sarawak Heart Centre Dr Alan Fong Yean Yip were also present.
Dr Sim said it would take 3 to 5 years to plan and set up a hospital, and thus, identification of suitable land for the second hospital had to be carried out soonest.
“In view of the urgency for such health care services here, the government has embarked on an expansion project for the badly congested Miri Hospital.
“We hope that the contract could be awarded early next year for the expansion project so that works can start soon,” he said.
Dr Sim said RM350 million had been allocated for the hospital’s expansion and RM35 million for the new polyclinic within the hospital compound.
Once completed it will have an additional 350 beds, and thus will greatly ease the badly congested Miri Hospital which has 345 beds and is also a referral hospital in northern Sarawak.