#Highlight* Red alert at Sg Buloh Hospital as operating theatres closed

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Last Updated: 7:05am, Jan 10, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): In the midst of putting up with uncollected litter following cleaning contractor Radicare’s shortcomings in staffing, the Sungai Buloh Hospital has also had to deal with non-functioning operating theatres (OTs).

All of the nine-year-old hospital’s 12 OTs have been shut down following a fire last Friday that short circuited the internal circuitry and cause malfunctions to the air-conditioning system.

The contractors for the RM1.3 billion, 620-bed hospital are Tunas Selatan Sdn Bhd, the same ones who built the University Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Teaching Hospital nearby, which had also experienced air-conditioning issues when it started accepting students in 2012.

Due to the shut-down, all elective surgeries have been postponed by a month.

Meanwhile, in a comedy of errors, Radicare staff it is learnt, inadvertently severed some wires while doing maintenance work on the six daycare OTs on Wednesday which have been conducting emergency surgeries for the past week. This has resulted in only two of the daycare OTs functioning.

“This is a disaster, hundreds of operations will have to be postponed,” said a source.

When contacted, Hospital director Dr Khalid Ibrahim (pic) told FZ.com that the problem may take two weeks to resolve as the UPS batteries were damaged by the fire.

“We had already moved to our daycare OT yesterday (Wednesday),” he said, confirming that the air-conditioning was not functioning.

“We also prepared the emergency department OT on standby, so (there are) not much problems to the patients,” Dr Khalid said.

However, today, director-general of health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah ordered all cases to be referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

However bureaucracy has set in. Due to an absence of black of black and white, HKL is rejecting all patients from Sungai Buloh.

The Sungai Buloh Hospital conducts an average of 50 elective surgeries a day and emergency operations that can reach up to a hundred a day.

It is also the only centre for spine and neuro-surgery in Selangor and receives many accident cases daily.

“The air-conditioning problem is posing a danger to patients as those undergoing surgery are prone to clinical infection if the temperature is not controlled.“Temperatures in OT should be maintained at 18 degrees Celsius but surgeries are being done in sauna-like conditions with temperatures reaching 26 degrees,” added another source.

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