UTAR Hospital back on track

UNIVERSITI Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Hospital, which includes education and training functions, will be completed as scheduled.

Despite a three-month halt, construction of the tertiary referral hospital for the community is back on track, said UTAR vice president Prof Choong Chee Keong.

“Fortunately, our contractors did a good job and after the construction sector was allowed to resume, we managed to catch up on the progress, ” he said during a media interview on Mar 17.

The construction sector was not allowed to operate when the first movement control order came into effect on Mar 18,2020.

The first phase of the hospital will comprise a traditional chinese medicine (TCM) and ayurvedic medicine building with 100 beds. It is expected to be completed in August or September this year.

Prof Choong said they have not decided on the opening date due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second phase, with 250 beds, will house western medicine facilities and is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

The hospital is expected to be operational by 2022 in conjunction with UTAR’s 20th anniversary.

Prof Choong said Kampar was chosen as the location for the hospital as there are already plenty of hospitals in the Klang Valley, the location of UTAR’s Sg Long campus.

There is only one government hospital in Kampar to serve the people there, he added.

“There is a need for affordable medical services (in Kampar), ” he said, adding that Kampar residents would have to travel to Ipoh if they needed to visit a private hospital.

The hospital, which is located within the campus, is open to all.

Funding remains a challenge as Prof Choong said donation drives were affected by the pandemic.

“Even now, we can’t have physical activities and functions, ” he said, adding that they need RM330mil.

UTAR has received donations from their alumni, staff and student clubs. Prof Choong hopes that the public will donate to the not-for-profit organisation as “our goal is to help the local community by offering affordable medical services”.

On Apr 2, Koperasi Wawasan Pekerja-Pekerja Berhad (Kowaja) donated RM30,000 to the hospital.

Kowaja general manager and UTAR alumnus Dr Tan Boon urged more alumni members to contribute.

“Remember the good memories. We should help our alma mater if we can. Even a small amount makes a difference. What we have achieved now is also a result of the support that UTAR has given us, ” he said in a press release.

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