Kota Kinabalu: The Health Ministry has failed the people of Sabah by not improving the conditions in Queen Elizabeth Hospital I (QEH I), according to the Sabah People’s Right Association, which highlighted several outstanding grouses, Wednesday.
Its President Lee Pun Yee reminded the Ministry that health and education cannot be compromised because these are the cornerstones of any country’s progress and prosperity.
“Firstly, the perennial woes of the QEH I public car park have yet to be resolved. It is a messy area where outpatients and visitors park illegally for want of space and thus hinder mobility. Whoever planned the car park was not farsighted in that the growing population of Kota Kinabalu and the foreseeable increase in the number of vehicles on the road were not taken into consideration.
“In fact, a multi-storey car park area should have been in place but clearly, the planners were not sensitive to public needs,” he told a press conference at the QEH I Canteen.
According to Lee, he had previously brought the matter to the attention of the hospital authorities and was assured that something would be done.
Secondly, he said, the hospital’s haemodialysis centre is in dire need of more machines but this is apparently not forthcoming. “Isn’t the Ministry aware of Sabah’s need for improved services and facilities? Maybe we are sometimes forgotten because we are 1600km from Kuala Lumpur.”
He said one patient with kidney failure was told to undergo haemodialysis only once a week, instead of three times, when she sought treatment at the hospital last December.
“Subsequently, the affected patient had no choice but to receive treatment at a private haemodialysis centre.
Mind you, it’s not cheap. It costs between RM200 and RM250 per session,” Lee added.
Thirdly, he noted that while parking lots are provided for doctors and nurses in the vicinity of the QEH I Haemodialysis Centre, the same cannot be said for patients who are required to come to the centre at least three times a week.
Lee showed reporters the spot where a female patient fainted and fell at the entrance/exit after treatment, resulting in bleeding on her back, when she was about to go to a waiting car driven by her husband.
“The husband could not enter the area (immediately outside the centre) because it is usually chained.
Only authorised personnel are allowed to park there. Normally, patients would feel weak after haemodialysis and should not be made to walk far to their vehicle.
“Under the circumstances, why can’t the hospital authorities designate a parking lot as a pick-up and drop-off point in the interest of patients’ safety and well-being?” he asked.
Fourthly, Lee lamented that the signage for disabled persons (OKU) placed on a pole near the centre was removed and yet to be reinstated. “Neither are there any parking lots reserved for OKUs now in that particular area,” he said.
He believes that because of his outspokenness, he may not be in the good books of the hospital authorities.
“Why should the doctors ‘hate’ me as claimed, instead of appreciating my initiative? I am only doing my bit for the community for the sake of patients. I have to play a role in highlighting the people’s grievances,” he said matter-of-factly.
Against this backdrop, he said the Sabah People’s Right Association would be willing to offer help to QEH I in terms of expanding its existing public car park area if adjacent land could be made available.
Similarly, Lee said, the association could also assist in respect of extending the existing haemodialysis centre and acquiring more haemodialysis machines for the hospital if given the mandate to do so.