Public hospitals in Penang need to undergo more emergency simulations exercises: Afif
Tue, Nov 14, 2017
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GEORGE TOWN: Public hospitals in Penang need to undergo more emergency simulation exercises to prepare their medical personnel to cope better in the event of major disasters such as floods or accidents.
Following the three tragedies to hit the state within a span of one month; the landslide, followed by the factory bus mishap which killed eight Indonesians and last week's floods where seven persons perished, there is a need to review the hospitals' standard operating procedures on how to better cope with the new age tragedies, said a doctor.
"Nowadays, the level of disaster can be immense with occurance of more deaths, or the level of destruction bigger due to the advent of climate change. So our hospitals need to be ready," said Dr Afif Bahardin (pix).
Afif, who is the state Health and Agriculture committee chairperson cited for example; the factory bus accident on the mainland, saw the Seberang Jaya Hospital struggle to cope with the admission of injured patients.
The public health officials may be in denial of this, but the people are of the view that the public hospitals need to beef up their disaster management, Afif said on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly sitting here.
It begins with the deployment of first emergency responders to the arrival at the critical wards and the immediate evaluation of injuries, it needs an overhaul and better improvement, said Afif.
He also called for more front-line pe rsonnel from the police, firemen and ambulance personnel to be well skilled in life saving techniques.
Also, the hospitals need to be wired up to the social media technology, by sending emergency notices online, and communicating with specialists who may not be around in the hospital when an emergency ensues, he said.
Earlier, Afif told a press conference that the state has proposed to relocate the outpatient section of the Penang Hospital to a new area in Sepoy Lines, George Town, as it can alleviate the congestion at the main hospital.
Afif said that if the Health Ministry allows this proposal, there would be a reduction of up to 800 patients daily at the Penang Hospital.
The hospital can then use the space to house more specialisation wards and more facilities for healthcare.
Afif said that the proposal has been sent to the federal authorities to be studied.
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