July 24, 2008

Upgrade for Maternity Wings

By V. Vasudevan

THE Health Ministry will embark on a plan to improve facilities at hospital maternity wings, as well as the quality of nurses nationwide, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad told the senate yesterday.

Dr Abdul Latiff said the move follows complaints over a shortage of beds at the maternity wings.

"We are doing our best to ensure the facilities are put in place for the comfort of the women," he said while replying to points raised by Senators during the Ninth Malaysia mid-term review.

Dr Abdul Latiff said the Health Ministry was currently increasing the number of beds at maternity wings of its hospitals in stages.

"We have also set a benchmark. Each hospital which delivers 750 babies a month will have a dedicated delivery room, while a hospital which delivers more than 5,000 babies a month will have a gynaecologist and anaesthetist on call," he said.

On nurses, Dr Abdul Latiff said they have to refer to the ministry's work guide that requires nurses to be polite and courteous to patients.

"We will give more attention to maternity nurses who have been accused of being fierce and rude to patients at times," he said to Senator Siew Chun Eam, who had complained of nurses being rude at maternity wings of hospitals.

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