TANJONG KARANG, JAN 4th: The queue to the ticket machine takes two whole hours after which the sick must wait at the waiting hall which is extremely hot and crowded so that patients can meet with doctors and receive medical attention. These are some of the hurdles that the local residents must overcome when they pay a visit to Hospital Tanjong Karang.
Some of the local residents, like Norfaezah Ismail, 51, sometimes end up standing during the entire waiting period at the now 46 years old hospital.
The truly disappointing fact is that the locals of Tanjong Karang, Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor should not be enduring this anymore as the Umno-BN regime had promised to build a new hospital. Nevertheless, after 13 years, the 60 acre site to construct the new hospital in Kampung Sungai Terap, Kuala Selangor remains an oil palm estate.
A sign board on the land reads “Planned Site for Kuala Selangor Hospital” and it is the only indication of the promise and that the site is to be a hospital.
Permatang State Legislative Assembly Coordinator, Mohd Yahya Mat Sahri said that the Umno-BN government realises the failings of the Tanjong Karang Hospital which was built in 1966 and planned to build a new hospital under the 7th Malaysian Plan in 1998.
However, Yahya says that despite the 13 years that the land has been allocated to the Ministry of Health, the construction has yet to begin.
Meanwhile, the current Tanjong Karang Hospital is already unable to support the growing needs of the expanding local populace in Tanjong Karang, Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor.
“The capacity of this hospital with only 114 beds is too small and offers on basic medical services such as childbirth and outpatient treatment.”
“To receive more elaborate medical treatment would require patients to visit the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang or receive referrals to the Sungai Buloh Hospital which is an hour away from Tanjong Karang,” Yahya mentioned in an interview outside the said hospital.
Another local, Misran Serman, 56, says that chronically ill patients and the elderly experience difficulty in accessing medical treatment at the current hospital.
“Also, the specialists are only available at certain times,” says Misran who lives at Sungai Burong, Tanjong Karang.
The locals implore the Umno-BN government to fulfil their promise and resume efforts to build the new hospital at Kampung Sungai Terap.
Additionally, Yahya claims that there are elements of misuse of power among the parties involved, as the oil palm estate is still in produce despite the land being turned over to the Ministry of Health.