Providing the best in healthcare

HIGH-LEVEL PATIENT CARE: Hospital engineering is the prerequisite for quality facilities, says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: THE healthcare system in Malaysia is rapidly changing with the demand for high-quality patient care.

This is also in line with the vision of the government for an industrialised Malaysia by 2020, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He said the healthcare sector was continuously challenged by changes in customer requirements and medical technology, together with the emergence of new health risks and the latest applications of information technology.

Speaking at the opening of the Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013, themed Empowering Facility Management in Healthcare Engineering here yesterday, Najib said hospital engineering was the prerequisite for quality healthcare facilities.

The empowering strategy on facility management in healthcare engineering, he said, could move the healthcare sector economy up the value chain.

"It will also raise the capacity for knowledge, innovation and nurturing of a first-class mentality in healthcare engineering, through the application of new technology to support patient care services."

He told participants, comprising the best professional minds in hospital engineering, that Malaysia had progressively taken steps to improve its healthcare facilities and engineering services.

"The development of public hospitals in Malaysia has migrated from the traditional design-and- build contracts to the turnkey concept and, most recently, the public-private partnership approach.

"The latter is expected to provide long-term private sector commitment in developing and maintaining quality healthcare facilities in partnership with the government."

He said this approach would provide optimum life cycle management of the healthcare facility in the planning, design, procurement, construction, equipping, installation, testing and commissioning, maintenance, replacement and de-commissioning.

Najib said the government had also embarked on a major transformation in healthcare engineering services through the privatisation of hospital support services at 122 public hospitals in 1997.

"Privatisation of hospital support services was one of the major outsourcing initiatives by the government."

This involved five major areas, namely facility engineering maintenance, biomedical engineering maintenance, linen and laundry, clinical waste management and cleansing services.

"This has successfully improved the quality of hospital support services in our public hospitals and, in turn, set the benchmark for the private sector to emulate."

Najib said the provision of clinical waste management services in Malaysia had been recognised by the World Health Organisation as among the best in developing countries and comparable with those in developed countries.

"Our local capabilities in hospital engineering are clearly demonstrated by the many successful planning, design, development and services undertaken for new modern healthcare facilities in the country."

These include the new teaching hospital for the International Islamic University in Kuantan, the National Cancer Institute in Putrajaya and the new Children's Hospital at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

The conference was organised by the Biomedical Engineering Association of Malaysia in collaboration with Advance Pact Sdn Bhd and Medivest Sdn Bhd, together with Faber Mediserve Sdn Bhd and Radicare (M) Sdn Bhd.

The event was held in conjunction with the executive council and council meetings of the International Federation of Hospital Engineering, which has 30 council member countries. The previous meeting in 2011 was held in Paris.


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