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Sabah’s Wisma Khidmat to be private hospital

KOTA KINABALU, 15 May 2009: The Sabah government has decided to turn the Wisma Khidmat building here into a private hospital and not a government hospital as earlier planned.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said today state government agency Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC), the owner of the building, would be entrusted to make the necessary preparations to turn the building into a private hospital.

The project to establish the private hospital was expected to cost RM100 million, he said when making the announcement during a visit to the SCC headquarters in Penampang here.

Musa, who is also State Finance Minister, said the proposed private hospital would be operated by either the SCC or a subsidiary.

“The SCC is now in the process of finalising it and we leave it to the SCC to decide on the matter,” he said.

Musa said the hospital would provide an alternative to the people of Sabah, especially those residing in the state capital, who preferred to seek medical care at private hospitals, after the established private hospital — Sabah Medical Centre (SMC) — was bought over by the federal government and turned into a government hospital.

In making that announcement on 5 May, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the move to buy over the SMC for RM245 million would help overcome the health service problems here after the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s main tower block was found to be unsafe for occupation.

Asked on the performance of the SCC, Musa said he was happy that the SCC enjoyed consistent growth, both in terms of profit and assets.

He said this was evident from last year’s financial record where the SCC reported an audited surplus before tax of about RM37.8 million, an increase of RM11.2 million or 42 per cent from the audited surplus before tax of RM26.6 million for the 2007 financial year.

Earlier, in his speech, Musa said it was very important for an agency such as the SCC to consistently make profit and at the same time maintain its corporate image to enhance its credibility.

“When agencies like the SCC are able to make profit, they will be able to pay dividends to the government and the money earned can be used to carry out projects for the people,” he said. — Bernama

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