To be built on a 95,000-sq ft land at Gua Permai Camp along Jalan Tambun, the first ever veteran hospital will be a one-stop centre consisting of a specialist hospital, care hub, rehabilitation centre, veterans’ short-term residences, lakeside senior care villas, memorial park, canopy walk, military club, staff housing, central garden, training centre, research office and exhibition space.
The veteran health village will be administered by a public-private partnership with BP Healthcare Group to ensure quality healthcare on a par with veteran hospitals in America, Britain and Australia.
Besides realising the vision of healthcare from cradle to grave, it is hoped that the hospital will allow military veterans to obtain medical and health services other than those available at military and public hospitals.
“The cost is between RM500-600 million. Plans are underway to upgrade the existing five military hospitals. We’ll adopt a new concept where polyclinics will be built in camps instead of hospital due to cost factor. The first of such clinics is being built in Penrissen Camp, Kuching right now. So, things are on the move,” said Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Minister with Special Functions, during a media conference.
“This is the first ever veteran hospital and I want it to start on the right footing,” he added. Hishamuddin was on an inspection tour of the proposed site at Gua Permai Camp on Friday, February 2. The camp is presently being occupied by 23rd Battalion Royal Malay Regiment.
Five more polyclinics will be built at Kluang, Seberang Takir, Kuantan, Sungai Petani and Kuching complete with dental services, observation ward, haemodialysis and specialist treatments, minor surgeries and others.
The upgrading of the military hospitals nationwide includes the replacement of medical equipment, renovation of buildings and the addition of pediatric, urology, geriatric and surgical services.
Present were Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Chief of Armed Forces, General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor, Secretary General of Ministry of Defence, Dato’ Sri Abdul Rahim bin Mohamad Radzi and Chief of Army, General Tan Sri Zulkiple bin Hj Kassim.
Under the health-enhancement agenda, the Ministry of Defence has disbursed the Special Insurgency Incentive (Bayaran Insentif Khas Insurgensi) as a form of gratitude to veterans wounded during the Emergency era. A sum of RM55 million was allocated last year for this payment. Since May last year some 2939 veterans and their dependents have been paid.
Meanwhile, RM33.4 million was allocated under the Medical Payment Scheme (Skim Bayaran Perubatan) for expenses incurred by veterans for clinical tests and purchase of medicines.