Shorter stays at emergency unit.

KOTA KINABALU: Health officials here are reviewing standard operating procedures to overcome congestion at the Emergency and Trauma Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

The move came about after many patients had to remain at the emergency unit for days due to lack of beds at the wards.

Health Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min said they were looking at ways to resolve the problem amid public complaints that patients had to stay in emergency units up to a week at QEH and QEH II here.

He said there were standard operating procedures for emergency wards where a patient needed to be treated and transferred to a ward within a certain time frame.

“But the number of patients has increased, and this may have contributed to the problem,” he said after an excellence-in-service award presentation ceremony here yesterday.

Dr Chen said congestion at emergency wards was also a result of unsystematic arrangements.

Sometimes patients who were not categorised as an emergency were treated or warded at emergency wards, he said.

“We are trying to get clinics in hospitals to open later so that patients can get the medical attention they need instead of heading straight to emergency,” he said.

He said patients could also make use of cluster hospitals in their areas.

Cluster hospitals complement each other in terms of medical facilities, technology and specialists, and involve the sharing of medical specialists and improvement of medical facilities.

Speaking at the event, Dr Chen urged all medical practitioners to provide quality services to patients.

He said various incentives had been given to medical staff to boost their work ethics and offer better services to patients.

On recent reports of poor discipline among housemen, including absenteeism, Dr Chen said a contractual agreement had been introduced for housemen.

“We now have contracts for those wanting to work as housemen and those who do not perform according to expectation will not have their contracts renewed,” he said.

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