KEMAMAN, Jan 19 – The Health Ministry still requires 15,000 hospital beds to accommodate the needs of patients nationwide, especially in densely populated areas like the Klang Valley. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said, however, the facility could only be provided within the next 10 years.
He said at present urban areas needed additional beds which needed to be given urgent attention. “In our ministry’s current estimation, we require at least 15,000 additional beds throughout the country as the ratio is 1.9 for a population of every 1,000 at present.
“If we can provide at least 15,000 beds, we will get a ratio of 2.5 for every 1,000 population, which is considered moderate. This means ever year we have to provide beds and only then we will reach that target,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Kemaman Hospital here today. Subramaniam said the government was constantly taking steps to address the problem as providing such facilities took time and had to be undertaken in stages besides involving high costs.