KOTA KINABALU, Feb 7 — Health funding should be given priority to improve health services for the benefit of the people, said Deputy Health Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
He said it is not a secret that health services in this country need improvement due to various issues including dilapidated buildings, lack of healthcare facilities to meet needs, and limited healthcare workers.
Besides that, he said the country’s health services must be rejuvenated after facing formidable challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In facing Covid-19, our healthcare facilities had been stretched out to meet the needs of our people who were affected… the vehicles that we had just been using such as ambulances racked up high mileage.
“We need to breathe new life into our health system to provide the best and dignified facilities to the people,” he said after he visited the Sabah Women and Children Hospital here today.
Also present were Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin and Women and Children Hospital director Dr Marcus Netto.
Lukanisman said currently funding for the country’s healthcare system is still insufficient to meet the needs, however, he said he believed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his capacity as the Minister of Finance would establish proper health funding.
He said the Health White Paper to be tabled by the Health Ministry middle of this year outlines necessary policies to better streamline health funding.
On his visit today, Lukismanan expressed his worry over the hospital’s bed occupancy rate which stood at 110 per cent of its capacity last year.
He said the hospital, which has more than 600 beds, also provides services to more than 550,000 people, adding that there is a need to erect new buildings to cater to those people.
“There are also patients coming from Lahad Datu to seek treatment at this hospital. All inputs I received during my visit here will be brought to the higher level including to the Health Minister (Dr Zaliha Mustafa) for further action,” he added. — Bernama