LAST_UPDATEWed, 20 Jun 2018 12pm

Serdang Hospital - Low Cost Or Low Quality?

THE main entrance to Hospital Serdang/Pic:mDTHE main entrance to Hospital Serdang/Pic:mDKUALA LUMPUR: It is undeniable that the government strives to provide the best services for the people at an affordable cost.

Providing medical services at low cost is the objective of government hospitals, which opens the door for all people to get medical treatment.

But there is a concern that this public access can also mean overcrowding of patients, which is the by-product of low cost services.

The overcrowding will lead to a long waiting list at the hospital.

This can be bad particularly for maternity patients who ideally want to get treated early to avoid complications during delivery.    

Malaysian Digest explores this issue further.


Please Take A Number

We visited the Serdang Hospital and saw that there were several people wearing inpatient robes waiting to receive treatment.  

One of the patients, Azmi, 30, said that he had to wait a while before he can get a bed for his wife at the maternity ward.

“I came with my wife at 7am I am still waiting in line,” said the frustrated man, who is patient number 7, which meant that there were others who have to wait for more than 7 hours.A mother pictured here, along with many others wait patiently for their turn at the Maternity WardA mother pictured here, along with many others wait patiently for their turn at the Maternity Ward

“My wife had to be placed in the outpatient ward to be attended to because she was so close to delivering,” explained the man who lives in Puchong.

He was made to wait outside, when the observation and periodical checks are carried out by hospital staff.

“They are doing the checkups but there is no bed to lie on, that’s all,” he added.

He explained that his wife was actually transferred from the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) to the Serdang Hospital for delivery.

“We went for antenatal checkups at UMMC but they transferred us to Serdang for the delivery procedure.

He said the doctors at UMMC told him that Serdang Hospital is one of the best maternity hospitals.

ANOTHER patient warded since she arrived early morningANOTHER patient warded since she arrived early morning“I don’t know whether this is true – maybe in Serdang, there are many specialist doctors even when there are many patients,” he said.

Concurring with Azmi is Shanti, a fifty-something who thinks that the overwhelming number of patients is making people waiting longer than they should.

“Many people want to deliver here because there are many good doctors but because of this the hospital is full-up.

“Previously I used to send my daughter to the Klang Hospital, but they referred my daughter to this hospital instead,” said Shanti.

She said that her daughter was transferred to Serdang because her water broke earlier than expected so the doctors in Klang wanted her to seek a specialist to avoid complications.

“She had to go for an emergency delivery procedure here but I’m confident because many people say the doctors here are the best there is,” she said while waiting outside the ward.

mD also spoke to Ying, a woman who had just became a first-time mum.A worker in charge of the counter at the Maternity Ward at the hospitalA worker in charge of the counter at the Maternity Ward at the hospital

Ying admits the maternity ward is overcrowded but she also said that the nurses and doctors treated her well throughout her stay, which makes her forget about the overcrowding and alleviate her discomfort.

“This is my first visit to the Serdang Hospital and I am pleased.

“They even wished me well and prayed for me as I am wheeled into the labour room,” said Ying who thinks the nurses and doctors there are genuinely concerned about the health of their patients.



Hospital Ceiling Collapse

Despite of the hospital staff’s best efforts, they can’t do much about the dilapidating hospital building.

A portion of the ceiling at the Serdang Hospital’s newborn baby’s intensive care unit (ICU) collapsed; just several months after parts of the ceiling fell in the maternity ward.

Fortunately no one was injured.

A Facebook user expresses their dissapointment with the hospitalA Facebook user expresses their dissapointment with the hospitalThis is the fourth incident at the hospital in three years.

On Sept 30, parts of the ceiling at the maternity ward of the hospital collapsed. In August last year, three nurses and a medical officer were injured when 15 ceiling pieces collapsed in the hospital’s emergency department.

The frequent ceiling collapse at the hospital was even discussed in Facebook.

“The question now is: what is the real cause behind the frequent collapse?” was posted.

There are still many unanswered questions.

Despite the ceiling collapse, we hope Serdang will remain a baby-friendly hospital.


 Strategic Location

According to Serdang Hospital director, Datuk Dr. Ardi Awang, being situated close to major highways such as SILK, LDP and SKVE makes it convenient for patients to come to the hospital.

In addition, he said the opening of new residential areas in locations close to the hospital such as Puchong and Seri Kembangan puts the hospital within easy reach.  

“We have exemplary maternity facilities that also allow the husband to be with their wife during labour.

We have been named a Baby-Friendly Hospital since 2010,” he elaborated.

The average number of delivery at the hospital is about 35 a day and 1,000 a month.

In 2012, there were 10,000 deliveries compared to 8,000-9,000 the year before.

Dr Ardi however said that even they had to refer patients to other hospitals when they can’t cope, sending patients to Hospitals in Ampang, Kajang and Putrajaya.

The Serdang Hospital, which costs RM690 million to build, is part of the government’s effort to build a network of e-hospitals.

It serves about 570,000 people living around Serdang, Putrajaya, Kajang and Bangi.