The Health Ministry has denied that the reported shortage of medicines at the Melaka Hospital was due to a shortfall of RM3.5 million in the allocation from the ministry.
Its minister, Liow Tiong Lai said the problem should not have happened as the allocation had been disbursed to the hospital.
“If there is such shortcoming, the director of the hospital should be held responsible as he should have placed early orders for medical supplies,” he told reporters after launching a health carnival in Ampang yesterday.
Liow said action would be taken against those at fault for negligence as “this is a serious matter because patients cannot wait for medicines”.
“We gave out allocations to all states but this hospital did not take quick action by placing orders as soon as it received the funding,” he said, adding that the hospital should resolve the problem quickly and make sure that it would not recur.
On Dec 8, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the Melaka Hospital required RM43.9 million annually for the purchase of medicines but until then, it received RM40.4 million, a shortfall of RM3.5 million, and urged the ministry to expedite the process.
On health clinics, Liow said 60 of 800 health clinics nationwide had extended their working hours this year from 5pm to 9.30pm on week days and from 8am to noon on Saturday.
He said the public could make a request for health clinics to be opened in their housing schemes if they feel that their areas were suitable.