Frustration as some health officials in denial over dire situation

The situation is being downplayed by some officials despite their efforts to organise help for the hospitals.

Healthcare and NGO workers have expressed frustration at some health officials for being in denial over the dire situation in the Klang Valley hospitals.

Many of the public servants are unwilling to speak publicly for fear of action.

However, they have privately expressed unhappiness that the situation was being downplayed by some officials despite their efforts to organise help for the hospitals.

Some have also aired their frustration on social media, but Malaysiakini has not highlighted them here as they could face action.

An example, they cited, was the Selayang Hospital’s hasty move to deny that it was facing an oxygen shortage.

This was despite health workers who spoke to Malaysiakini on condition of anonymity confirming that patients are having to share oxygen ports.

“We have no idea what else to do, we do not have enough oxygen for patients. And patients do not have beds so everyone is just trying their best.

“We know this is a breach of protocol, but things are that bad. Better we try to do something than not do anything,” said one health worker.

Outside parties have also organised efforts to provide free oxygen supply to the hospital but it was branded as “fake”.

“Hospital Selayang has never faced problems with oxygen supply.

“The Selangor Health Department advises the public to be cautious with unverified postings and not to spread them,” Selayang Hospital said in a Facebook post.

Malaysiakini understands the hospital had since accepted a batch of oxygen tank donation.

The Selangor Health Department, in a separate statement, reiterated that it had enough oxygen supply.

It added that the donation drive, previously labelled as “fake”, was by an external party.

“The donation collection is not by any Selayang Hospital personnel. The Selayang Hospital management or personnel also did not ask any quarters to collect donations for Selayang Hospital.

“Selayang Hospital has a total of 1,325 ports at present and oxygen supply is sufficient,” said Selangor Health director Sha’ari Ngadiman.

Earlier this week, the Health Ministry also labelled images of huge crowds of Covid-19 patients at the Melawati Stadium in Shah Alam, which is serving as a Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC), as “fake news”.

It later apologised for the “confusion”.

Dr Rafidah Abdullah, a consultant physician and nephrologist at Putrajaya Hospital, had taken to Twitter stating that there was nothing wrong with acknowledging hospitals in the Klang Valley were facing paralysis.

“As a professional, we cannot lie. Even stating ‘not true’ is not right. Don’t fall into the game of putting up a show.

“There is nothing wrong with confirming that many government hospitals and health facilities (including universities) around the Klang Valley are paralysed… it’s a fact and a reality.

“I believe Malaysians will be more accepting,” she said.

The Klang Valley is facing a surge of Covid-19 cases despite the total lockdown.

Daily cases hit a new high yesterday with Selangor seeing more than 4,000 new infections.


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