Hospital Sultanah Aminah Johor Bahru

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Why and why

From Malay Mail

Why ventilators are avalaible mostly in bigger hospitals

KUALA LUMPUR: Ventilators are only available in big hospitals in the country where there are specialised personnel to man the machine.

While there are some district hospitals with the machines, there are also those without them, said Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.

“So, I am not surprised if many district hospitals do not have neo-natal facilities like ventilators.

“This is not news to me,” said Dr Abdul Latiff after launching Fomema Mobile service - a Short Messaging System (SMS) at PWTC yesterday.

He said this when asked why district and smaller hospitals did not have ventilators, following Putrajaya hospital’s predicament on Dec 1 when it was forced to send a sick baby 180km to Muar hospital in Johor.

The machines at Putrajaya hospital on that day were all fully utilised and the doctors could not source for a ventilator within the Klang Valley.

Hence, the decision to send the baby to Muar Hospital.

Dr Abdul Latiff pointed out that the Muar hospital was the nearest and there was a doctor accompanying the baby.

He defended Putrajaya hospital’s decision to send the baby to Muar hospital and described the predicament faced by the hospital that day as a rare one.

Dr Abdul Latiff explained that there should be a “neonate position” at a hospital so that ventilator machines, costing about RM50,000 each, could be used.

“Otherwise, it is not practical to have one at a hospital that does not have proper personnel to handle the machine.

“That is why only a few big hospitals have such child specialists who can man the machines,” he said, adding that the Ministry has enough trained personnel to carry out such tasks.

On another note, Dr Abdul Latiff said a memoranda had been presented to the Cabinet, requiring all foreign workers to undergo medical examination within one month upon entering the country.

This was to ensure they did not spread any communicable disease to the Malaysian public.


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