SRI AMAN: The new RM150 million Sri Aman Hospital is expected to be completed by 2018 if there are no problems with its contractors.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the assurance when laying the foundation stone for the 108-bed hospital at Jalan Bayu yesterday.
Najib said the project will continue as the government has spent RM12 million on land acquisition, clearing and filling.
During a visit to the current Sri Aman Hospital in 2011, Najib promised to get the project going as he envisioned a new and bigger hospital with modern facilities including surgery, haemodialysis and radiotherapy.
“This shows that the government cares. Apart from hospitals we also have village clinics including the 1Malaysia clinics. And further development in terms of welfare and education in the rural areas will be intensified,” Najib said yesterday, stressing that fees at public hospitals in Malaysia are the lowest in the world.
“Where in the world do patients pay a fee of RM1 only? And when they meet the specialists, they only have to pay RM5 each? Then the medicine is free. No where in the world is there anything like this,” he said to the applause of the 5,000-strong crowd.
He pointed out that the government subsidises 98 per cent of health costs.
“The patient only bears 1 to 2 per cent of the costs.”
Although an international living index ranked Malaysia third among 24 countries that provide the best healthcare systems, Najib said based on cost-benefit analysis Malaysia’s system would be the best.
“When the time comes, I hope you remember the good gesture of the current government,” he said, urging the people to support Barisan Nasional (BN).
On the shortage of specialists, Najib said the government would look into providing incentives for them to work in Sarawak.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the delay in building the hospital was due to the search for a suitable site, but all technical difficulties have been overcome thanks to the Public Works Department.
With the completion of the new hospital, he said many patients with critical conditions would not have to be referred to the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching, which is around three hours’ drive from here.
The minister also echoed the plan to use incentives to attract medical specialists from Peninsular Malaysia to work in Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Rural Development Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, who is Simanggang assemblyman, urged the people not to be hoodwinked by the opposition.
He said the opposition only knows how to instigate the people to hate the government but it is the government that actually cares for them.
Of late, he said the apparent delay in constructing the new Sri Aman Hospital has become a favourite issue for the opposition to fish for votes.
Harden added that the acquisition of the site and laying of the foundation stone yesterday were testimony that the government cares about the people’s welfare.
Source from: BorneoPost Online