Materia Medica Malaysiana

March 6, 2007

Chua Denies Hospital’s Delay Due To Health Ministry’s Fault

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:45 am

PUTRAJAYA, March 5 (Bernama) — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, Monday denied that the delay in the completion of Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Star was due to the ministry’s fault as it kept revising its scope of services.
He said services such as neurology and cardiology departments were incorporated in the hospital at the request of Kedah state government.
“As the ministry was concerned with the request, we had agreed to it. As such, the new scope was added and we would like to stress that the changes and the incorporation of the new scope was made only once,” he told reporters after meeting fast food restaurant operators, here Monday.
He was commenting on a report Sunday quoting Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu as saying that the contractor was not at fault in the delay and attributed it to the construction of additional facilities.
He said the completion date was extended not at the request of the contractor but to enable it to build the additional facilities requested by the client, the Health Ministry.
“I don’t understand why certain quarters in the government agency are so interested in championing the contractor and told the press that the delay was not the fault of the contractor but the Health Ministry which kept changing the job scope.
“We made the changes only once, even then it was at the request of the Kedah state government,” said Chua.
On the other hand, he said according to the Kedah Health Department, the contractor kept changing its project director and subcontractor besides facing a labour shortage.
“I don’t understand why Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu did not pinpoint at the contractor, but instead put the blame on our ministry. As if he is representing the contractor and championing them.
“To my knowledge, this is an unusual thing because we can only accept the hospital once it is completed,” he said.
Dr Chua said the ministry would not accept a faulty hospital either physically or in its facilities for the safety and well-being of the patients would be at stake.
“If we feel that it is not ready yet, not adhering to the standards, we will not accept it. “And from what I understand, it would only be ready in April and not March as reported in the press,” he said.

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