KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will upgrade 11 non-specialist hospitals nationwide to minor specialist hospitals to further extend medical specialist services to those living in rural areas, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Its minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye, said among the hospitals were Gerik Hospital, Kuala Kangsar Hospital and Taiping Hospital in Perak; Tampin Hospital in Negri Sembilan; and Kota Tinggi Hospital in Johor.
The upgrade would also involve Besut Hospital and Dungun Hospital in Terengganu; Gua Musang Hospital in Kelantan; Beaufort Hospital and Kota Marudu Hospital in Sabah; as well as Mukah Hospital in Sarawak.
"Other non-specialist hospitals would be turned into cluster hospitals where medical specialist services will be sought from nearby hospitals," he said.
Dr Lee was replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (BN-Sabak Bernam) on the government's plans in fulfilling the need to have specialist doctors in rural areas.
In a reply to another supplementary question from Mohd Fasiah on the number of existing hospitals nationwide, Lee said there were 145 government hospitals so far including 75 specialist hospitals, 18 minor specialist hospitals, 14 state hospitals, 10 special institutions/hospitals and eight major specialist hospitals.