KOTA KINABALU: Shuttling between hospitals and working with limited facilities is taking its toll on 291 medical workers after the tower block at Queen Elizabeth Hospital was vacated six months ago.
Government doctors and nurses treating patients at hospitals in the suburbs and at rented facilities in the city are feeling stressed out.This has prompted Cuepacs president Omar Osman to urge the Health Ministry to speed up the much talked about purchase of the privately owned Sabah Medical Centre (SMC). "We had received complaints. So, we decided to see for ourselves what is happening here by visiting several hospitals that doctors and nurses are now working at."From what we have seen, the best option would be to buy SMC. Identifying land and building a hospital to replace the tower block will take another four to five years.
"Medical staff are starting to feel stressed out and they need a proper place to work. There must be a solution by this year."Stress may disrupt productivity levels of medical workers now moving from one hospital to another."Sometimes, they get stuck in traffic jams. This includes patients, too, when they have to be moved to other hospitals."We don't want a situation where action will only be taken when a patient dies (while being moved)," Omar said.He was speaking after a two-hour closed-door dialogue with members of the Sabah Medical Services Union. Omar said Cuepacs would prepare a letter of support to urge the government to expedite the purchase of SMC."There are some corridors in hospitals that have been turned into wards and this is not acceptable. "SMC is the best option because it is a proper hospital with ready facilities," he said