Selayang Hospital: from glorious days to a sad state of affairs – Dr Ghazali Ahmad
Although Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) has always been the flagship hospital of the Ministry of Health (MOH), serving as the first national referral hospital for many years, plans for its decongestion and strengthening of others Healthcare facilities, including the construction of new hospitals in the Klang Valley, were mostly confined to the drawing board until the mid-1990s, when a serious effort was launched by the chief health officer of the time, Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, to downsize HKL and build other new hospitals.
HKL was initially to be scaled down to become a 1,000-bed hospital to meet the needs of city dwellers, while several next-generation electronic hospitals were to be built to meet the future health care needs of the ever-growing population of the Greater Valley. Klang.
Sungai Buloh Hospital was to be the largest of the planned new hospitals with 1,300 beds (later reduced to 620 beds following the 1998 financial crisis), followed by Selayang Hospital with 960 beds, Serdang Hospital with 620 beds and Ampang hospital with 700 beds. .
A smaller hospital was also planned for Putrajaya to serve as a district hospital for the country’s new administrative capital.
It was expected that when the new hospitals were completed, the Klang Valley would have more than 3,000 public hospital beds (not including teaching hospitals) to accommodate the refurbishment of the busy HKL and to meet the ever increasing needs of tertiary institutions. and specialized. healthcare services, which include nephrology, cardiology, hepatology, hematology, endocrinology, rheumatology, cardiothoracic and hepatobiliary surgery, neurosurgery, urology and other niche areas, especially kidney, liver, heart and lung transplants, which had to be developed further.
Additionally, to prepare for the future automation and digitization of healthcare, these new hospitals needed to be fully electronic, incorporating the concepts of Lifetime Health Plan (LHP) and Lifetime Health Records (LHR). .
The plan for homogeneous national electronic health records from uterus to grave in public health clinics at national tertiary hospitals, would begin with the implementation of the first fully paperless tertiary hospital at Selayang Hospital, implementing a comprehensive health information system (THIS) that would encompass administration, finance, clinical services, laboratory services, imaging services and support services, including food and nutrition, physiotherapy, carriers, transport, mortuary services and others.
A core team was set up by the Ministry of Health in 1997, tasked with ensuring that Selayang Hospital begins operating as the first fully electronic and paperless hospital by the end of 1999.
The Ministry of Health team, which included clinical specialists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, senior nurses and IT specialists, started their work in the Wisma Awal building, going through every work process imaginable in a tertiary hospital.
A group of IT consultants from Cerner Corporation and the Vamed Medical Consultancy Group also worked on digitizing all manual work processes, reflecting regularly with the team at the Ministry of Health.
As part of an investigative and exploratory exercise, several members of the Department of Health team visited a few hospitals in the United States to learn about the practicalities and challenges of automating processes. .
Before the end of 1999, there was no completely paperless or fully electronic hospital in the world that fully implemented the concept of EC from admission to discharge.
The spirit of Malaysia Boleh, coupled with the strong commitment, support and vision of the Ministry of Health and government, enabled Selayang Hospital to open in November 1999, implementing CECI for all process, from admission and registration to writing and writing prescriptions, ordering drugs, lab tests, imaging, planning, nursing entries, reports, discharges and transfers.
With its opening, Selayang Hospital quickly attracted patients, not just those who were decanted from Kuala Lumpur Hospital. but also private health facilities in the Klang Valley and beyond.
He also received visits from local dignitaries and health officials from other countries, including Indonesia, Japan and Singapore, who wanted to witness firsthand a successful implementation of THIS in a hospital. tertiary.
At one point, Singapore’s Minister of Health personally visited Selayang Hospital to receive a briefing, as Singapore was planning to move in a similar direction for its public hospitals.
While planning for other new hospitals in Klang Valley encountered a problem with the financial crisis of 1998 (the plan for Sungai Buloh Hospital to replace HKL was abandoned), Selayang Hospital continued to obtain more accolades in its efforts to become the best new generation hospital, maintaining the quality and excellence of health services, which Malaysians wrongly attributed to private hospitals before the opening of Selayang Hospital.
The world’s first hand transplant for a baby was performed at Selayang Hospital in 2000 by pioneer hand microsurgeon Dr V Pathmanthan. A living donor kidney transplant was also performed by consulting urologist Dr Rohan Malek at the hospital in the same year, making it the second tertiary hospital after HKL to perform a kidney transplant.
The first liver transplant in a public hospital was performed at Selayang Hospital in 2002 by Dr Harjit Singh, with the help of Professor Russell Strong from Australia. The implementation of efficient in-line hemodiafiltration (OL-HDF) for hemodialysis therapy and the peritoneal insertion technique of the peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter by non-surgeons to increase national uptake of the DP were also introduced to Selayang Hospital.
Many health professionals subsequently came to the Selayang Hospital to inquire about the organization and implementation of this useful and important clinical service.
Many lives were born and many more were saved at Selayang Hospital for a small fee, thanks to the generous annual budget of the Ministry of Health and thanks to the dedicated, caring and altruistic public health professionals who serve to Selayang hospital.
However, unlike other venerable public hospitals, such as St Thomas, Hammersmith and Charing Cross in the UK. and also the Kandang Kerbau Hospital in Singapore, which continues to be well maintained and modernized according to the changing times, Selayang Hospital today seems to suffer from an unsustainable existence.
Images of moldy roofs, walls and hallways, faulty elevators, a seemingly endless occurrence of leaks and damp floors in critical wards and clinical areas, faulty equipment, including those for sterilizing instruments surgery, the reduced capacity of the operating room, and the deplorable state of facilities such as old, faded and torn sofas in clinics and public spaces, speak volumes about the hospital’s neglectful state. .
Total hospital information system? Forget. Selayang Hospital has been using conventional manual processes for several years now, which was not initially expected, while new hospitals in other countries have successfully implemented CECI with proper and adequate funding from their respective governments.
Fiery, progressive, pragmatic, practical and open-minded new Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin may want to come out of the blue to see for himself the deplorable state of Selayang Hospital.
He is perhaps the only real hope that remains for the optimum resuscitation of the spirits and plummeting spirits of hospital staff and frustrated patients of this once high-end and one-of-a-kind tertiary hospital.
Dr Ghazali Ahmad is a consultant nephrologist and was a member of the Ministry of Health team at Selayang Hospital from 1997 to 2000. He was also the first head of the nephrology department at the same hospital from 2000. to 2006.
- This is the personal opinion of the author or post and does not necessarily represent the views of Blue code.