A patient at the KL General Hospital (HKL) shares his experience:

I am a patient of our Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and visit two specialist clinics regularly. It used to be four. I was warded in two different wards for biopsies and can attest that our hospitals are terribly overcrowded and rundown. The HKL is an old hospital, and I was born in the maternity section. Guess I will probably die there too.

When I was admitted to the Nephro ward, there was no bed for three patients. They put us in foldable recliner chairs placed between two rows of beds. When one bed became available for me, I offered it to the older of two women. A young girl who came in later was given a stretcher bed and parked against the wall.

After two nights in the recliner chair, a group of senior doctors came around for a visit and asked why I was in the chair. Of course I took the opportunity to complain not only about being left in the chair but also the cleanliness of the ward. The ward sister got an earful.

When I was admitted to the Derma ward, contractors came in to change the air-cond during the Labour Day holiday when the ward sisters were not around. I was asked to move out of my second-class room to squeeze between two beds in the third class room. The whole ward was supposed to be air-cond but they wanted to shut down all air-cond at one go.

I went after the contractor and insisted that they leave the one in my room running, which they did. When the ward sister came back to work, I learned that she was not informed of the works. Since she didn’t know how to scold the contractor, I did it for her.

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That, my friend, is how our hospitals are run.

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I suspect the neglect of the general hospitals is to allow private hospitals to flourish under Mahathir’s privatisation policy. Not to mention the low government spending on public health care (2 per cent of GDP). It is all part of the neoliberal approach to health care that creates a two-tier system for health care, education etc aggravates the suffering of the lower income group.

It looks as if Singapore is also facing a hospital bed crunch.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Aging population calls for more healthcare facilities and services, not to mention the high rate of diabetes and high blood pressure among the Malaysians.

    • And yet government is planning to get these old folks to work beyond the current retirement age!
      Companies to foot more financial cost?

  2. local gomen business affordable no doubt but just watch out no need to take too much painkillers or antibiotics prescribed as easy way out cure for common diseases/ailments.

  3. Government hospitals have all the facilities for treatment of life-threatening diseases. However, questions are often raised about the quality of treatment available in the hospital and on the aspects of cleanliness. The doctors and hospital authorities should cooperate with the government in providing quality care and better facilities to the patients.

  4. ‘ a stretcher bed parked against the wall’ in the wards/ corridors was a common sight at HKL in the early 90s. Two decades on, patients waiting for a proper bed in crowded wards still have to rough it out sleeping on ‘foldable recliner chairs’ squeezed between two rows of beds. Ouite a tough thing to help to alleviate the discomfort ?

  5. For the last 30 years or so KL GH has been this way ! Nothing has changed I guess !!! On the bright side ,these hospitals are not crashing down on the patients like Serdang Hospital !

  6. Singapore’s Ministry of Health spells out efforts to tackle bed crunch at its hospitals. an Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Changi General Hospital (CGH) and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) experienced more than 92 per cent bed occupancy last week, on the back of very high rates in the past year.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/ministry-health-spells-out-efforts-tackle-bed-crunch-20140109

    Mount Elizabeth Novena offered to lend 60 beds to public hospitals to help relieve the space crunch. Two other hospitals in the Parkway Pantai group, to which Mount Elizabeth Novena belongs, already have link-ups with the public sector. CGH rents a ward from Parkway East, while also sending some of its dengue patients to Gleneagles Hospital. The Government has begun building more hospitals, with 1,200 beds to be added later this year.

  7. The current tactic of the political right wing in England is to use public money to help the
    private sector grow e.g. the PFI (Private Finance Initiative) hospitals.

    These PFI hospitals cost the tax payers more (often, much more) than the regular NHS (National Health Service) hospitals.

  8. We have Full Paying Patients and Commercial Private Wings in some public hospitals.

    From the experience of other countries such as Ireland, this will result in queue jumping i.e.
    preferential handling of such full paying patients compared to the regular patients.

  9. Going to a private clinic even for a simple ailment will cost you RM50 – RM100 while at the govt out patient clinic it cost RM1.00 or O for senior citizen. And you are getting almost the same medicine.

    Hospitalized in a private hospital will cost from a least a few K to ten of K while in the govt hospital it will cost up to about RM100..

    Extract a tooth in a govt hospital only RM2.00. Do it at the private clinic its RM60 at least.

    Until the day when the govt put more budget into the health service you can see more and more crowd by the day.

  10. with more stress as a result of barang naik phenomena, more will seek mental health as well in hospitals thruout Malaysia. Sad indeed 🙁

  11. When things go t… up, even the recliner is a an object of comment. Well if what you say is true then the hand that was elected by the hands that voted have basically said thank for nothing folks, I ll keep my seat but who cares what happens to you common folk. I will promise you no security and promise you no hospital comforts, just vote me in and see if I care for you little no good people…Even if you are … sons of this soil we don t really care if you are marginalised ….. Parameswara didn’t build these hospitals, the poor British did as a payback for raping not just the billions…..but our souls as well….

    So your recliner is just a passing fancy mate, thank your lucky stars that the Government at least provided some other kind souls generosity by leaving the recliner for you mate.

    Dr M and the private hospitals- well that’s a subject in itself and even though he is still alive he turns in his bed at night and shakes his… head and says to himself very quietly ” what the… have I done…and cries himself to sleep…as if ha-ha.

    Good luck guys…

  12. Everything for Public run down including Sungai Buluh and Selayang Hospital.

    rajraman. Umnoo even run down public
    opinion. Political publicity 1st class service until cows can stay in high class condo.

    • love your comments – barang naik runs down public comments and while humans squeeze in overcrowded public hospitals, we have cow live in condo, fully airconed.

      1malaysia Boleh

      • Kee,
        The worst is Malaysia running down fast.I don’t know who the PM.Najib or Zaid Hamidi calling the shot?
        Wisma Putra managing foreign affair or Rosmah.

        rajraman. Anyone knows who running the country? Please I like to know.

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