Materia Medica Malaysiana

October 15, 2007

No cough and cold cases at emergency depts

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:55 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The accident and emergency (A&E) departments in all government hospitals will stop treating non-emergency cases from Jan 1.
Such cases will be handled by health clinics.
To cater to this need, 33 health clinics located near hospitals will open from morning till midnight, including on weekends and public holidays.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the aim was to reduce the pressure on the A&E departments in hospitals.
“At present, 75 per cent of the patients who flood the A&E departments are those with fevers, coughs and colds and other non-emergency ailments. The people must understand that the A&E department is only for emergency cases.”
Dr Chua said in Singapore, if a person sought treatment at the A&E department of a hospital and it turned out to be a non-emergency case, he would be charged a higher rate.
“If I am not mistaken, it is five times more. This is to reduce the patient load at the A&E department.”
Doctors working from 5pm to midnight and from 8am to midnight on public holidays would be paid RM30 an hour, with plans to increase this to RM40. Private doctors were encouraged to work at these clinics.
Also from Jan 1, all non-emergency surgeries at government hospitals would be done on Saturdays.
Dr Chua said this was because many of the non-emergency operations were postponed because of the increasing number of emergency operations.
“We have identified 19 hospitals with 41 operating theatres to perform these non-emergency surgeries on Saturday to ease the backlog.”
This would cost the government RM7 million a year in overtime and allowances for surgeons and other staff required to work on Saturdays. Last year, 782,514 operations, 65 per cent of them emergency cases, were done in government hospitals.
Dr Chua said whenever an emergency operation had to be performed, the elective ones were postponed. As a result, many patients had to wait for six months or more for their operations.

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