Tuesday, November 18, 2008


New QEH Twin Tower Block ready in three years


The construction of a new Twin Tower Block with more than 600 beds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) site will proceed as planned under the current Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006- 2010).

However, Minister of Health Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the building, which will house at least 20 operating theaters, and more ICU and CCU beds, will only be ready in two to three years’ time.

“It is part of the Government’s commitment to work towards a long- term solution with a network of urban hospitals to address the increasing demand for hospital beds,” he said, during a visit to the QEH here yesterday. The Minister was accompanied by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Khoo and State Health Director Dr Marzukhi Mohd.

According to Liow, all 129 patients have been evacuated from the existing lO-storey Tower Block that has been declared unsafe for occupation and moved to seven other hospitals, with the last patients shifted out on November 14.

Following the completion of the relocation exercise, Liow disclosed that from now on, all operations in the Tower Block have ceased, while the emergency operation has resumed at Hospital Likas and Sabah Medical Centre since November 15 this year.

However, all emergencies and admissions to wards will be done at the QEH Accident and Emergency Department, Liow said, adding that an Operation Room has opened in the Hospital and any patient or the public who wish to know more about the services may contact the Hotline

Liow said the surgical multidisciplinary emergencies are now handled at Sabah Medical Centre while orthopaedic, ophthalmology and paediatric surgeries are done at Hospital Likas, and medical multidisciplinary services are provided at the other complexes within QEH.

He said non-urgent surgery services will be relocated to Beaufort Hospital and Kuala Penyu Hospital.

“We will ensure that quality of hospital services in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah will not be compromised,” he said.

Liow also said the Ministry has long-term plans to build another general hospital in the State while QEH will be turned into a tertiary hospital (sub-specialists) that will cover the whole East Coast area of Sabah with close proximity for the convenience of the people.

“The Ministry is still at studying stage to identify the best area to construct the new hospital, including the land proposed by the Chief Minister, to cater to the population not only in Kota Kinabalu areas but also from other rural areas such as Keningau and Kudat,” he said, adding that the Ministry also has long-term plans to build more hospitals in the State Capital.

He said the Ministry will not build a new hospital at the existing QEH site since it is already congested, and the Public Works Department (JKR) and Ikram Group Sdn Bhd (appointed by the Ministry) recommended that the 27-year-old old QEH tower that had been declared unsafe recently be demolished.