KUCHING: Sarawak needs more hospitals with all the specialists once the Pan Borneo Highway is ready, which is expected in 2023, said state Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian.
He said that at the recent Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) meeting with the federal government, Sarawak had asked for autonomy on this matter and flexibility in funding.
“For example, like the Pan Borneo Highway, it is set for a thousand kilometres. In West Malaysia, a thousand kilometres, you may have a hospital with neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, etc, but two hours for ours in here, we haven’t reached another town.
“That is why we need our own administrative autonomy so that we can make the decision on the number of hospitals and the number of specialists; if they make the decision, they always use the national norm which is not applicable to us,” he told the media after opening the 30th National Scientific Conference in conjunction with Borneo Scientific Meeting 2019 here today.
Dr Sim said Sarawak does not want big hospitals like in West Malaysia but only hospitals with adequate facilities to cover the relevant areas.
“We told them that if funding is the issue, we can always look at other business models since the federal government has a lot of issues. So give us back the administrative power and we will do it ourselves,” he added.