Doubtful Land Issues Holding Up Tawau General Hospital Upgrade

The existing Tawau General Hospital located off Jalan Utara, has become congested and approval for upgrading was announced in 2016. It is due to be constructed on an empty piece of land close to the existing facility.

TAWAU – The Democratic Action Party (DAP) has called on the authorities concerned to explain the status of a seven-acre piece of land near the existing Tawau General Hospital, which has been earmarked to be developed for the upgrade of the health facility.

DAP state secretary Chan Foong Hin posed the question to the State Government, Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, as well as the Sabah Lands and Surveys Department if the land in question was now an uncertainty.

Chan said there appeared to be doubts if the said land would be used for the upgrading works valued at RM253 million which has been allocated by the Federal Government.

According to him, any land ownership issue should not be the reason for the authorities concerned not to approve the seven-acre piece of land for the upgrading works – something which the people of Tawau and the east coast had been looking forward to.

He called on Musa to explain once and for all if there were any problems with regards to the land in question and why it could not be released for development.

Chan, who is also the Sri Tanjung Assemblyman, said the people were thankful that the federal government had allocated such a he amount of money in 2016 under the 11th Malaysia Plan to upgrade the Tawau Hospital.

Chan, centre, together with DAP Socialist Youth Sabah chief, Vincent Fung, left as well as an aide visited to the site near by the Tawau hospital here Monday, which has been designated for the upgrading works.

It would be the largest upgrading project in the east coast of Sabah for the health sector.

Chan said he has no idea about the cause of why the government is not approving or letting go of the land, but he stressed that the people would be the biggest losers and would suffer if this upgrading works is delayed or put off altogether.

“For example, if the upgrading work is to be implemented on the current open space (now used as a temporary parking space), it would be insufficient due to its relatively small size and could cause another parking problem at the hospital,” he said.

Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr Ali Bin Hamsa signed the plaque for the upgrading works on August 6, 2016, where he also said that once ready by the year 2020, would serve as become a ‘Reference Hospital’ not only to the 400,000 residents here but also those in Kunak and Semporna.

Ali had then said construction would start in 2017 and would be carried out step by step within three years and expected to be completed by March 15, 2020.

The upgrade will include six operation halls, 555 beds in wards, 38 specialist clinics, an emergency and trauma unit, radiology unit, haemodialysis unit, pharmacy as well other medical equipment and amenities.

“It was learnt that this upgrading project will include Mother and Child Center (at old building of hospital), surgical hall building and medical building (to be developed) in an area which are located close to each other,” said Chan.

“The state government should not have any reason for not letting out the seven-acre land for the upgrading project. They should be fighting for it for the people in Sabah to be implemented without delay.”

Touching on the CT scan (computerized tomography) issue, Chan believed this problem could be resolved soon as a new CT scan has arrived and test runs are being conducted. He said he had been told it could be used by March.

The previous CT scan had broken down since last October and he urged patients who had spent money for a CT scan at a private hospital during the said period, to collectively by voice out their demand for compensation from the government.