PETALING JAYA: The government hospitals in the Klang Valley are at breaking point with acute care wards for seriously ill Covid-19 cases packed to capacity.
The emergency units are overflowing with patients who have difficulty in breathing. The intensive care wards are full.
The system is no longer able to provide adequate care to the 20%-25% of Covid-19 patients who require high quality and timely treatment with oxygen, steroids and anticoagulants to pull through and survive their ordeal, the People’s Health Forum (PHF) said today.
PHF is a platform created in April 2019 by several not-for-profit organisations and individuals who are committed to the principle of Health for All.
The exponential rise in “brought-in-dead” (BID) Covid-19 cases, particularly in the Klang Valley, is cause for alarm, according to PHF.
“According to recent CPRC figures, Selangor recorded the highest number of BID cases this year at 181 (27%), followed by KL (11.6%) out of a total 670 BID cases for 2021,” it said in a statement today.
“These figures were reported as of July 2, when there were a total of 4,856 deaths since Jan 1. By the time this statement is published, the figures would have risen.”
PHF suggested the transfer of a portion of the new cases of Category 4 Covid-19 to hospitals in surrounding states – Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca.
The Category 5 cases are too ill to be transferred safely and need to be handled in the hospitals where they are, it said.
“The Emergency Declaration specifically empowered the government to temporarily acquire private hospital facilities to handle the Covid-19 crisis,” it said.
“The time to use this provision is now. The government has to take over a portion of the ICU beds of the private hospitals in the Klang Valley so that the pressure on government ICUs can be relieved.”
PHF also suggested that we borrow ventilators from Singapore, China and Australia so that we can quickly expand our ICU capacity.
“The monitoring of patients being managed at their homes has to be upgraded so that deterioration to the immunological phase of the illness can be recognized early and appropriate treatment initiated in a timely fashion,” it said.
“The Covid-19 Assessment Centres at district level should enlist a corps of volunteers (retired doctors, nurses, others who are able) who are each given a set of patients to follow up by phone every day for the first 2 weeks after diagnosis of Covid-19.
“If their symptoms indicate possible deterioration, these patients should be admitted for assessment and optimal treatment. A system of reporting should be put in place such that the volunteers give daily feedback on all their wards.”
PHF said its four suggestions are do-able, but they need to be initiated from the highest levels of the Ministry of Health and the National Secuirty Council.
“The political temperature is going up with the approaching parliamentary session and the end of the Emergency. There is a real danger that political intrigues will distract the authorities from the fact that many Malaysians are now struggling for their lives and that our health care system in the Klang Valley is at the point of collapse,” it added.