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Open on weekends, medicines by post - ministry mulling ways to de-congest hospitals

Annabelle Lee

Published
Modified 2 May 2020, 12:19 pm

The Health Ministry is considering a slew of measures to prevent overcrowding at public hospitals.

These include extending operating hours and shifting some operations online.

In his daily Covid-19 briefing this evening, ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shared that hospitals had become “congested” following the disease outbreak.

Rather than have patients collect medicines from hospitals, the ministry is mulling shifting the service online and delivering medicines by post.

“Perhaps we could treat patients at their homes. Domestic-based care means ministry officials will dispense treatment at individual homes,” he proposed.

Furthermore, the ministry is considering allowing hospitals to accept consultations on Saturdays and Sundays.

It also wants to extend opening hours to 10pm.

“We could space out appointments by implementing staggered appointment hours,” he added.

Another idea is to have patients wait in their vehicles or “open spaces” before showing up for their appointments.

“We don’t want any congestion at waiting areas,” Noor Hisham said.

Following weeks of consecutive triple-digit daily case increases, Malaysia has begun to see a dip in new infections and is now in the recovery phase of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Of the 6,176 cases in total, 4,326 (70.05 percent) patients have recovered while 1,747 (28.29 percent) remain in treatment. Deaths number 103 (1.67 percent).

Today alone, the ministry reported 105 new cases, 116 recoveries and zero new deaths.

This marks the highest daily case increase in 16 days.