HTAR Denies Clearing Out Emergency Dept & Houseman Hostels Due To PM's Visit
Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (HTAR) in Klang has dismissed claims that its emergency department was vacated because of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's visit on Tuesday, 13 July
Screenshots of WhatsApp messages went viral yesterday on social media, claiming that the hospital had cleared its emergency department to show the Prime Minister that the situation at the hospital was under control.
The messages also alleged that housemen were displaced from their hostels with only one day's notice to make way for new admissions.
Dismissing the claims, hospital director Dr Zulkarnain Mohd Rawi said the department was full of patients that day and the movement of patients was part of a scheduled relocation anyway
"The number of patients awaiting treatment in the Emergency and Trauma Department on 13 July was as many as 177," he explained in a statement, adding that the department typically treats up to 150 to 180 patients in a day.
Besides that, plans to move patients from the emergency department to the hopital's Ambulatory Care Centre (ACC) were made beforehand on 9 July.
"The transfer of COVID-19 patients to the ACC that was converted into a COVID-19 ward was a contingency plan by hospital-level disaster management," he said.
Zulkarnain added that the decision to relocate COVID-19 patients to other wards is also made at the discretion of the ward's management, and not the emergency department.
"Hence, the viral accusation that the Emergency and Trauma Department was 'vacated' because of the Prime Minister's visit on 13 July is not true as the department was really full of patients that day."
Meanwhile, Zulkarnain said housemen were given four days' notice, instead of one, to transfer to more comfortable Universiti Malaya (UM) medical student hostels near the hospital for COVID-19 purposes
"[The relocation] is aimed at optimising the use of Blocks A, B, and C of the trainee doctors' hostels as Block D had already been converted to a COVID-19 screening centre since April 2020," he said.
The director added that the trainee doctors were given notices on 9 July, and following their completed transfers on 12 July, Blocks A and B were converted into COVID-19 low-risk wards.
The changes mentioned by Zulkarnain were also announced by HTAR in a post uploaded on its Facebook page on 10 July, saying that the ACC and trainee doctors' hostels were cleared to start accepting patients.
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Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham recently said hospitals in Klang Valley are operating at "overcapacity":
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