Aged Healthcare Act to be tabled next year, says Minister

The Aged Healthcare Act aimed at developing and improving regulations for the aged care industry would be tabled in Parliament by the end of next year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic) said today.

He said the ministry was currently, drafting the Act.

“The Act will ensure minimum standard for all healthcare support and services for the elderly in the country,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya today.

Citing an example, Dr Subramaniam said nursing homes for the elderly fell under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act and was regulated by the health ministry and welfare department.
However, under the proposed new Act, he said the nursing home which did not provide health, medical or hospice care for the elderly would be registered under the welfare department.

“Anything with medical and nursing care, the proposed Act will regulate and put a standard on that,” he said.

Serdang Hospital ceiling collapse

Meanwhile, Dr Subramaniam said the ministry would take stern action, including filing a law suit against the contractor of the Serdang Hospital, following incidents of collapsed ceiling slabs.

“The ministry does not blackout these issues. The contractor is the one who is responsible for the building. We will take the necessary action… whether they are liable or not, depends on the report we received from the public works department,” he said.

He said the ministry was keeping a close watch on the Serdang Hospital whose ceiling was inspected on a daily basis to detect “danger elements” and rectify them immediately.

He said the ministry had allocated RM30 million for repair and maintenance work at the hospital.

“We have identified two major issues, namely support for the ceiling and the condensation issue due to the air-conditioning system. We have begun work to strengthen some of the areas and are trying to prevent condensation,” added the minister.

Since the hospital was officially opened in December 2005, there were several incidents of collapsed ceiling slabs at its premises.

On September 20, this year, portions of the ceiling at the hospital’s maternity ward gave way and on November 14, parts of the ceiling at the paediatric intensive care unit collapsed.

On January 30, 2011, a ceiling collapsed at the hospital’s main lobby while on August 13, last year, three nurses and a female medical officer were injured when 15 ceiling pieces collapsed at the hospital’s emergency department. – Bernama

Source: The Malaysian Insider

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