Sungai Bakap Hospital to get new building, says health minister

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad says that the Penang Health Department was in the process of applying for land ownership. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 23, 2024.

SUNGAI Bakap is set to get a new hospital to complement its existing 130-year-old hospital that is struggling with inadequate facilities and increasing patients.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, during a visit to Sungai Bakap yesterday, said the new hospital will be built adjacent to the old one.

He added that the Penang Health Department was in the process of applying for land ownership.

“We are now in the phase of securing funding. Having a new hospital building is vital as the population is growing in the south Seberang Perai district,” he was reported as saying in The Star today.

“The ministry has always prioritised efforts to address issues of inadequate facilities, resource mismatches across various service levels, and unsustainable healthcare financing,” he added.

The minister said that the old hospital will also see some refurbishments, including the staff quarters being converted into the Sungai Bakap dental clinic.

Upgrading work has been underway since March 26 and is scheduled for completion by August 26.

At present, the dental clinic operates on the hospital’s second floor.

The minister officiated the newly upgraded emergency department at the Sungai Bakap Hospital.

He said the upgrading project was done to optimise the space previously occupied by the outpatient department, which has now been relocated to the Sungai Bakap health clinic.

A new screening ward has also been added to the emergency department, replacing the old one that was set up in a temporary tent outside.

Dr Dzulkefly dismissed the claim that his visit to the hospital was an election gimmick. Sungai Bakap is set to see polls on July 6. Yesterday was nomination day.

“The plan to visit the hospital was made a year ago before the date of the by-election was announced. It just so happens that this week, I am in Penang.

“I am merely fulfilling my responsibility as health minister. There is nothing I am offering except engaging with those from the Penang Health Department and Hospital Sungai Bakap,” he said. – June 23, 2024.

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