Six-hour wait over emergency department

GEORGE TOWN: Six-hour wait notice has not gone down well at the Penang Hospital Emergency and Trauma Department (ETD).

Many people expressed their displeasure to social media with the notice displayed at the hospital’s triage counter on Sept 29.

One Facebook user named Rosma Ismail said she could still see a doctor on time by driving all the way from Kuala Lumpur to the hospital.

Federal Government should enhance its public service delivery and efficiency by reducing the waiting time, Another Facebook user Nik Faiz said.

According to Penang Health Department director Dr. Asmayani Khalib, the ETD (Red Zone) of Penang Hospital received an average of 400 patients daily, of which more than 50% were non-critical or emergency cases.

The notice was actually prepared for the Green Zone (non-critical cases) as there was a sudden surge in the number of patients on Sunday night, she said. “However, the notice was not taken down after the peak period, hence the confusion among members of the public.

“We wish to apologise for that matter, ” Dr. Asmayani said in a statement.

On weekdays, the hospital also provided After Office HoursClinic from 5 pm to 10 pm, and from 9 am to 10 pm on weekends and public holidays to reduce congestion at the ETD, she added.

The state health department was committed to providing quality care at the hospital. Feedbacks are welcome to improve its service quality, Dr. Asmayani said.

For non-critical needs, Penang health committee chairman Dr. Afif Bahardin asked them to visit other government clinics in Penang.

“Patients can seek treatment at other public health clinics instead of crowding the ETD, which is meant for critical and emergency cases, ” he said.

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