A video on the dire state of the healthcare system in the Klang Valley has gone viral, with claims being made comparing the system to a sinking ship.
“We are looking at the possibility that all of the hospitals in the Klang Valley will be at full capacity,” one anonymous person says in the video, with one other saying hospitals have reached 100% bed capacity multiple times since April.
The 15-minute video by the Projek Bangsa Malaysia group was published on Youtube today, and features only audio of those said to be frontline healthcare workers detailing the grim reality on the ground.
Project Bangsa Malaysia is an undertaking between the Islamic organisation Abim and the youth group Projek Wawasan Rakyat.
The recording is said to have been made on July 9, when the group organised a live stream of Klang Valley medical frontliners sharing their personal accounts anonymously.
FMT has sought a response from the health ministry to the claims made in the video.
“It’s like a ship that’s sinking, you know? People are really trying to keep the ship afloat but these people are putting holes right into the ship,” one of them says.
She adds that there is an urgent need for more equipment, especially oxygen tanks, with another individual saying that one canister needed to be shared among five other patients.
“We are replacing oxygen canisters by the hour,” another says.
There is also a shortage in main medications used to treat Covid-19 for the past few weeks, according to one of the frontliners.
“We are not receiving help from headquarters and we are dying in this battle.”
Another frontliner claims that Covid-19 deaths are under-reported, saying that the death rate reported in the media does not reflect the real situation.
“Deaths are actually much higher,” she says, alleging that the health ministry does not report patients who have died of other causes even if they had Covid-19.
She claims that the ministry also does not report cases where patients suffer from blood clots, heart attacks or strokes after going through their 14-day quarantine period.
Another anonymous voice speaks of overcrowding in ICU wards, with frontliners needing to choose who gets intubated.
Speaking on the same topic, one of the frontliners says: “We are creating ICU beds at places that are not actually ICU, for example, at operating theatres, oncology wards – we are not supposed to do that actually.”
Another individual even compares the country’s current crisis to the Covid-19 outbreak in Italy in the middle of last year and the surge in India this year.
They say they are seeing an increase in seriously ill patients, many of whom are young and fit but take a long time to recover, clogging up the ICU as a result.
“Some of them have been there for months,” one says.
Going to work is also becoming increasingly demotivating, they say, especially among contract medical workers who are not promised a permanent job after the pandemic.
One such worker complains that this is not “a positive thought to have in our minds”.
They also express great worry of infections spreading to other wards, causing closures, with another frontliner claiming nine of his medical officers have active Covid-19 infections.
A paediatric frontliner also tells of not being able to help high-risk surgery patients, especially among toddlers and babies who require ICU facilities.
The video also touched on the current lockdown, with a few of them complaining about “not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”, arguing that current measures are not targeted towards the real source of the infection spikes.