Posted on October 19, 2010, TuesdayKUCHING: Overcrowding at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here may come to an end soon as it was announced that the federal government has agreed in principal to accept the proposal for the construction of a second general hospital.
To be built in Petra Jaya, details of the project were yet to be determined but Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg was sure that the second general hospital has the capacity as large as SGH.
Speaking to the media after the earth-breaking ceremony of the Sungai Bedil Besar embankment project at Kampung Sungai Bedil here yesterday, he said: “I am yet to not know the details but I’m sure it would be as big as SGH at the city.
“Commencement of project was also yet to be determined. Now we have to wait for the announcement from the Ministry of Health. One thing for sure, it has been agreed in principle.”
Abang Johari explained that Petra Jaya was confirmed to be the preferred site for the second general hospital due to the size of population there.
“We have to take account the population demography. There are about 200,000 people living in Petra Jaya, so a general hospital is very much needed on that side of the city,” he highlighted.
An attempt by The Borneo Post to contact Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai for further comment was however, unsuccessful.
The issue of adding another general hospital to complement SGH has been the main talking point for the people here for years.
Apart from the construction of a new general hospital, there was a suggestion earlier this year that the Sarawak International Medical Centre (SIMC) in Kota Samarahan was to be run as a public hospital within this year to help ease the congestion.
In a news report by The Borneo Post on January 9, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said that the centre would be operational as soon as the renovation work was completed.