Monday, October 27, 2008


Musa offers State land for new QEH site


The State Government is willing to allocate a piece of land for the relocation of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), which was declared unsafe by the Health Ministry recently. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman in stressing this, said a directive has been issued to State Land and Survey Department Director Datuk Osman Jamal to identify a suitable plot within or close to the City area. “I will bring the matter in our next State Cabinet meeting, where we will decide and approve the land. This is something urgent and is important to the people,” he told reporters during the Sabah MIC Deepavali Open House at the Likas Sports Complex yesterday. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and wife Toh Puan Dayang Masuyah AwangJaapar, Sabah MIC Chairman Datuk V Jothi, State Cabinet Ministers and Sabah Progressive Party President Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee were also present at the event. Musa added Health Department Director Datuk Dr Marzukhi Md Isa had also met him pertaining to the issue. “The existing hospital site is getting too congested and the building has been declared unsafe. “We hope to provide a bigger land for the construction of a new hospital which will be equipped with appropriate facilities to serve the people in the State. “I, hope the Federal Government will look into this, and once we get a suitable site, they (Federal) can build (a new hospital) faster,” he stressed. Asked on plans for the existing location and buildings, Musa replied: “It is up to the Health Department because the land belongs to the Federal Government.” Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai recently declared QEH as ‘unsafe’ after structural defects were found at various areas of the hospital building, especially on the tower block, podium, forensics block and the boiler room. Liow said the report submitted by Ikram Group Sdn Bhd, the engineers appointed by the Ministry to conduct a check-up, showed that the 27-year-old buildings was no longer strong and could not last long. “It is not economical to repair the buildings,” said Liow, adding that the Ministry is also considering renting and purchasing services at private hospitals, including the Sabah Medical Centre and the Damai Hospital, apart from building a new 10-storey block at QEH. Meanwhile, some 5,000 people thronged the hall here to join in the festival of lights celebration. “Visiting one another during the festive season is a normal practice for us in Malaysia... such an exercise must be continued to maintain the existing unity. This shows that we all can work together and live in harmony,” said Musa.