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Instead of waiting for empty promises that the current government can not fulfill, it is better to vote for the prospective Pakatan Harapan candidate in the coming 14th general election

I am dissatisfied with the statement given by Dato’ Seri Dr. Hilmi Bin Haji Yahaya, the Deputy Health Minister who has said that the government would work with Tunku Abdul Rahman University (UTAR) to set up a hospital at the UTAR campus in Kampar instead of building a new government hospital as promised in 2012.

The Health Minister at that time, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced the approval of an allocation of RM150 million from the federal government to build a new hospital in Kampar to replace the existing hospital and it was supposed to be operational within two years. But the announcement just remain what it was; an announcement. There has been no development whatsoever in regards the hospital project. The groundbreaking ceremony has never been seen and the present day status of the project is that it has been canceled.

This has caused anxiety and disappointment amongst the people in Kampar because the promised new hospital facility was not going to be realised. Instead, Datuk Seri Liow has announced the gathering of funds from the public to help UTAR build a teaching hospital. This means UTAR’s priority is to set up a teaching hospital for its students and not for the public to receive treatment. If the government intended to build a new district hospital, the project should have been completed in 2014 or 2015 but as it stands, it is still in discussion with UTAR until today.

Datuk Seri Liow has stated that UTAR initially wanted to raise funds amounting to RM300 million to set up a hospital in its Kampar campus. The question arising from this is whether the government should contribute RM300 million to enable the construction of this hospital in UTAR to be started as soon as possible or otherwise wait until UTAR has successfully raised the needed funds. If the government fully covers such costs, this means that the government would be providing double the amount of RM150 million that had already been approved in 2012. Is this not more burdening the government instead of lessening the burden of the government as stated by Deputy Health Minister Dato’Seri Dr. Hilmi?

If we have to wait for UTAR to raise the required funds completely, for how long do the people of Kampar have to wait as the amount of RM300 million is not a small amount. Is the government able to tell the people in Kampar when new hospital would be built?

The population of Kampar and the surrounding area is about 100 thousand people. This does not include the mobile population such as the UTAR students who number around 25,000. Thus the total population is more likely to be around 125,000. The ratio of existing bed to total population is 2:1000. This means that we need at least 250 beds for the population in Kampar. If the ratio used in developed countries, which is 6:1000, the number of hospital beds should reach 750 for the needs of the population in Kampar. Therefore, the earlier proposed new hospital and the proposed UTAR hospital in their campus can be mutually inclusive. It is definitely not wastage. The government can continue to build its promised new hospital for the residents of Kampar and at the same time UTAR can continue with their plans.

The existing Kampar Hospital has only 90 beds, incomplete equipment and infrastructure and no specialist doctors. Therefore, the residents of Kampar need a hospital to enjoy a more complete medical treatment facility.

Instead of waiting for empty promises that the current government can not fulfill, it is better to vote for the prospective Pakatan Harapan candidate in the coming 14th general election. When we are successful in forming the new government, Pakatan Harapan will build a hospital in the shortest possible time for the convenience of the people in Kampar.

Dr Ko Chung Sen
MP for Kampar
Media statement (2) by Dr. Ko Chung Sen in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 11th August 2017