KOTA KINABALU: When the new Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab) in Queen Elizabeth Hospital II (QEH II) starts operating by end this month, Sabah will have a heart surgery centre with equipment that is on par with the National Heart Institute.
Revealing this yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the cardiac services unit in the hospital, which is equipped with top-notch facilities, will be fully operational.
He said upgrading work on QEH II was completed last month and all advanced technology equipments are being brought in to the hospital.
“Actually, QEH II has started cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology services since April this year because we have an existing Cath Lab on the second floor.
“However, the latest Cath Lab, costing RM5 million, will give better cardiology services to the patients in Sabah,” he said.
He said the sophisticated equipments in the Cath Lab will ensure Sabahans get proper health treatment without having to fly over to Kuala Lumpur.
Liow, who was on a working visit to QEH II yesterday, said with the completion of QEH II, there are now a total of 384 beds.
He said Sabah Medical Centre which used to occupy the whole premises are renting 71 beds from QEH II.
He said the bed to population ratio in Kota Kinabalu will be 1:211 by 2013 compared to 1:402 in the year of 2009.
He said there were only 1,143 beds available for the patients in Kota Kinabalu in 2009 but today there are 1,527 beds in four hospitals, namely QEH I, QEH II, Women and Children’s Hospital Likas and Hospital Mesra Bukit Padang.
Liow said upon completion of QEH I by 2013, an additional 661 beds will be available, bringing the number of beds to 2459.
Another 200 beds will be added for the Cancer Center in Likas by 2013, he said, adding that this shows the commitment of the federal government to give equal health services to Sabahans.
“All the specialist centers that are available in peninsular we also have here in Sabah. We are also planning to add more specialists to be in the State.
“The Health Ministry will be sending more housemen and medical officers to Sabah and Sarawak with an offer of scholarship to enable them to pursue their studies to become specialists,” he said.
With the current situation where Malaysia is facing a shortage of specialists, the scholarship that has been offered will help housemen to further their studies after two years of service.
He said the welfare of housemen will be protected and their allowance will still remain the same even though the working hours of 90 hours per week have been reduced to 54 hours.