Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another 'sick' new hospital

NST: PEKAN: After a four-year delay, the RM90 million Pekan Hospital has been finally completed but with defects which have infuriated many, including Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Dr Chua, who was given a briefing on the problems faced by the hospital during a visit yesterday, said he was frustrated to see the building plagued with the shortcomings.
"We regret that this new building has defects, especially leaking pipes. A new hospital like this should not have these kind of problems," he said after the visit.
Dr Chua said it was time the ministry and the public were informed about the causes of the problems.
"We want to know whether it was caused by the design of the pipe system, the type of pipe used or shoddy workmanship," said Dr Chua, who looked visibly upset.
Defects have also been reported at several other new hospitals in the country.
Dr Chua said he was baffled as to why some of the equipment and facilities were not installed, including the oxygen piping system.
"This is unacceptable. As this project is under the Public Works Department, I hope it can help resolve the problems."
Dr Chua said the ministry’s engineering division would also help determine the problems. It will ask the contractor to solve them within a month.
The Pekan Hospital was initially scheduled for completion in 2003 at a cost of RM80 million. It was finally handed over to the Health Ministry on March 27.
During the briefing, its director, Dr Marhani Awang, said that among the defects detected were leaking pipes and problems with the main water tank.
The defects have affected many areas of the hospital, including the administration office and men’s wards. Several staff claimed that the ceiling panels in the X-ray room and wards had collapsed.

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