Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kempas hospital to have halfway homes for patients

NST: Halfway homes will be built for the mentally ill to live with their families while being treated at Hospital Permai’s new RM600 million premises in Kempas.
The concept of halfway homes is being extended to Hospital Permai after being introduced at Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan, Perak, about 18 months ago.
"The results have been encouraging," said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
"The programme better prepares patients and their family members through the transition period before going back to society."
About 200 quarters would be allocated as halfway homes, he said.
Under the concept, patients live with family members and interact in a more community-based environment.
They could take up light jobs in the hospital compound while under their family’s care. Doctors would visit at intervals to evaluate their conditions.
The hospital yesterday held the ground-breaking for its new compound in Kempas, which will be completed in 2010. Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Hospital Permai director Benjamin Chan were present.
Part of the current hospital’s operations in Tampoi would be relocated to the 61ha compound in Kempas, which is equipped with 724 beds.
Some of the Tampoi facility’s buildings will remain in use, and others, which pre-date Merdeka, would be retained for their historical value.
Chua said mental illness was the second highest health problem among Malaysians after heart attacks, according to a 2004 study and only one in five sought treatment.

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