GEORGE TOWN, Nov 20 — New public primary healthcare clinics, or Klinik Kesihatan, to be built in Penang will feature an infection control component to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, the Penang state legislative assembly heard today.
Youth, sports and health state exco Gooi Zi Sen (Padang Lalang) said the infection control component functions by isolating patients with fever symptoms.
“The first clinic in Penang with an infection control component is the Klinik Kesihatan Mak Mandin,” he said when replying to a question by Ong Ah Teong (PH — Batu Lanchang) on the development of public health infrastructure in Penang especially post-pandemic.
Gooi said existing clinics will set aside “fever clinics” to isolate patients with fever symptoms.
On the control of communicable diseases, he said the Health White Paper by the Health Ministry will guide the strategies to be implemented in Penang to improve the healthcare services in the state.
Among the steps to be taken in Penang included the transformation of public healthcare service, prioritising public primary healthcare, intensifying effective collaboration between public and private sectors to optimize resource utilisation and harnessing the use of digital technology advancements.
“We can utilise technology to improve services such as the measurement of temperature of a patient is still being conducted manually when this can be improved through the use of technology,” he said.
He said the state government also aims to optimise hospital care services, improve health promotion and disease prevention, incentivise pro-health practices, promote the effective use of vaccines and introduce community empowerment-based programmes.
“Enhancements in data collection, clinical data sharing, research, and analytical capabilities, especially in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), will be increased to strengthen disease surveillance, monitoring, and risk analysis at the community level,” he said.
He said these are important for the provision of evidence-based public health intervention programmes such as public vaccination programmes, community screening programmes, and nutrition programmes.