Need for a Second Hospital

By A. Jeyaraj

Considering the hardship Ipohites face to access Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh’s General Hospital, it is about time that a second hospital be built. Roads leading to and out of the hospital are virtually clogged up daily.

The tempo builds up and around mid-day, getting to the hospital is an exercise in futility. This is being exacerbated by inconsiderate motorists who park their cars by the sides of the main road. The situation becomes ugly on Fridays when Muslims flock to the nearby mosque for prayers. The hospital’s car park is simply too small to accommodate even the minimum number of vehicles.

Space is definitely a problem and unless this is adequately addressed, there is little prospect of it being resolved.

Under the Tenth Malaysian Plan two new hospitals were built, one in Kampar and the other the upgrading of the Kerian District Hospital in Parit Buntar. These additions may help overcome problems in the state but not in Ipoh, per se.

Ipoh, with a population of over 670,000, needs another hospital to meet growing demands. The present hospital with its existing structure and facilities cannot cater for the city’s residents. It was okay during the colonial period, as conditions then were not as complicated as they are today.

Seeing is believing and all one needs to do is to take a ride along Jalan Hospital during noon hours to see the mayhem. It becomes more acute on Fridays when Muslims perform their obligatory Friday prayers.

The state government should consider the implication of a delay. The state may not have the funds to build another hospital on its own. But rather than waste money on unnecessary projects, it is prudent to build a second hospital for the benefit of Ipohites.

Expanding Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, as a stopgap measure, is impractical as space is a major constraint. Therefore, the reasons for a second general hospital are valid. Turning to the Federal Government for funding is one possible option the state government needs to consider seriously.

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