Media Statement by Johor DAP Publicity Secretary and Senai State Assemblyman Wong Shu Qi on 26th October 2016 (Wednesday):
It is now the time for government to review the privatisation of all government hospitals’ support services.
The second fire disaster within 48 hours in Hospital Sultanah Aminah has raised serious concern over government hospital maintenance issue. This is not only related to the wellbeing of all patients but also medical staff who work tirelessly in the hospital.
Since 1996, all government hospitals in Johor are serviced by one private medical support company, Medivest Sdn. Bhd, which received another 10 years concessionaire renewal in 2015.
While related agencies are now conducting investigation over the fire disasters, it is also timely for the federal government to come clean and reveal contracts between Health Ministry and all private concessionaires providing support services to hospitals.
In the 2017 Budget, the government allocated over RM2 billion for such support services, and additional RM78 million for a medical equipment concessionaire programme called Medical Equipment Enhancement Tenure (MEET).
As a matter of transparency and in view of the disasters which happened in Johor, Medivest should also make public their maintenance and risk assessment records of Hospital Sultanah Aminah.
Investigation must be swift and transparent. Reports must be made public for accountability. Remedial actions must be taken to prevent recurrence.
One life lost is tragic enough. The people of Johor and Malaysia are mourning this tragedy together.
But while we mourn, we also want answers and clarifications, not mainly to put blames on any parties but to ensure that such tragic incident will not happen again, especially in a hospital, a place where the most vulnerable go to seek remedy for their illness. Patients, family members and medical staff deserve a safe environment to receive treatment, take care of their loved ones and perform their duties professionally.
The selfless medical staff at Hospital Sultanah Aminah who risked their own lives to save their patients had touched the hearts of all Malaysians. They are our heroes, and it is now our responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for them from now onwards.
Wong Shu Qi