GEORGE TOWN, Sept 5 – Penang will have its first-ever school in hospital once the rebuilding and upgrading of Penang Maternity Hospital, which will include a women and children’s block, is completed. Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the maternity hospital had been closed down since December 2014 and the upgrading project expected to be completed in March 2017.
The school-in-hospital initiative will be a collaboration between the Health Ministry and Education Ministry, applying the current school syllabus. He said this is the first school in hospital and it will have teachers and equipped with the relevant facilities. He said they hope with this effort, young patients will not be left out in their studies. A similar effort was implemented in Kuala Lumpur Hospital and the response has been positive from the patients and parents.
The upgrading of Penang Maternity Hospital will be done at the same 1.9-hectare site in Jalan Residensi and the open tender for the project will be issued this month. The Economic Planning Unit had approved RM250 million for rebuilding and upgrading the hospital which will include inpatient and outpatient wards. After the upgrade, the hospital will have 329 beds compared with only 210 beds previously.
Earlier, Penang Hospital received a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and an angiogram machine from the ministry which cost RM7 million and RM11.386 million respectively. Since the MRI service was introduced by the hospital in 2002 until now, more than 30,000 patients have undergone MRI scanning. Hilmi said with the two new machines, the people of Penang, Kedah and Perlis will benefit from them as Penang Hospital is the reference hospital in the northern region. — Bernama