PETALING JAYA, Nov 6 – There was a plan under the Budget 2023 to build the proposed public hospital in USJ 1, Subang Jaya, said incumbent Member Parliament of Subang, Wong Chen, here today.
While the Federal government had cancelled plans for the USJ1 health clinic in August 2021, citing the rise in the cost of the hospital from RM45 million originally to more than RM65 million as the reason, the plan seems to have been once again in the offing under Budget 2023 tabled in Parliament in October, Wong said during a Deepavali gathering at the USJ2 community centre.
He was replying to a question from Weekly Echo on whether there were plans to have a hospital for Subang Jaya?
“Apparently, this was stated in the Budget 2023 according to caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. We came to know this only when told by Khairy that it was in the budget that was tabled. We searched for the information and found it in the Budget. However this remains only in writing and nothing is certain until the election is over and which government comes into rule,” he said.
In the 2023 Budget, tabled Oct 7, the government allocated RM272.3 billion for operating expenses, RM95 billion for development expenditure, with the Ministry of Health’s allocation coming to a significant RM36.4 billion but there was no specific mention of allocation for any hospital in Subang Jaya.
A public hospital in Subang Jaya has been a long-standing issue that was proposed more than a decade ago. When plans for the USJ1 hospital was cancelled, Wong sought an explanation from the Federal government for its cancellation as it had been approved under the 12th Malaysia plan with a cost of RM45 million.
Khairy’s reply was that it was under the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department and that it has been shelved by the EPU following a higher cost request made by the Health Ministry. The cost was raised to RM67 million by the Health Ministry.
Wong had said the reason given by the EPU in cancelling the project was not acceptable. The hospital could still have been built according to its original cost, he said. He also said that the matter of increased cost should have been sorted out by the EPU and the Health Ministry, without having to shelve the hospital plan.
He said the population of the Subang parliamentary constituency stood at 478,000 people as at 2020 but there was not even a single government hospital or health clinic within the constituency.
At the Deepavali gathering, several senior citizens were commenting on how difficult it was for them to travel to Kelana Jaya’s Klinik Kesihatan, which is already crowded with residents from the surrounding areas, while the Puchong Klinik Kesihatan was even more further in distance.