KOTA KINABALU (Nov 25): The Sabah Kidney Foundation on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kolej Universiti Antarabangsa Picoms to set up at least five dialysis centres in Sabah.
Its acting head, Datuk Seri Rashid Liaw Abdullah, said they will be identifying the locations for the centres.
Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony, Rashid said the Foundation will also be working with the Sabah Islamic Religious Council (MUIS) on the project.
MUIS, he said, has a dialysis centre on its premises and is setting up one in Tebobon with the National Kidney Foundation.
“MUIS will work with us, the Sabah Kidney Foundation to set up more dialysis centres, especially in the rural areas. Our target is to start by June next year and have identified three areas namely Kota Marudu, Beaufort and Lahad Datu as the initial towns for the centres,” he said.
Rashid added that other than MUIS, Sabah Kidney Foundation is also working with other sponsors on the setting up of the medical facility as they want to keep the fees charged on the patients at a minimum.
“We are not doing it for profit but we need to charge a minimum fee as there are operating expenses to meet,” he said, adding that there are about 4,000 patients in Sabah registered with the Health Ministry as requiring dialysis treatment.
Meanwhile, Kolej Universiti Antarabangsa Picom Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wan Mohd Azizi Wan Sulaiman said it cost about RM1.2 million to set up a dialysis centre.
“We are planning to equip each centre with 12 dialysis machines and this will allow 72 patients to receive treatment daily,” he said, adding that the fee charged would be RM200 per person for each session.
According to Dr Wan Mohd Azizi, a patient who undergoes dialysis needs to undergo the treatment at least three times a week, so will spend RM3,000 a month for it.
The fees will be higher in a private medical facility, he added.
To the question why they chose Sabah, he replied that it was because they were informed that the state needs more dialysis centres.
“We saw that the treatment facility in Sabah is still lacking from the aspect of ratio. Also the Sabah Kidney Foundation has the experience but lacks the expertise and manpower.
“This is where we come in as Kolej Universiti Antarabangsa Picom is a college under Majlis Agama Islam Persekutuan where their expertise is specialist science and nursing,” he said.
“We have the expertise in setting up and operating dialysis centres,” he added.
He disclosed that a dialysis centre requires a kidney specialist, a medical doctor with experience in the field and nurses with the post basic renal certificate.
Kolej Universiti Antarabangsa Picom, he said, is a training provider for the post basic renal certificate, adding these nurses are in high demand.
“For the centres in Sabah, we will choose Sabahans for the six-month training course. For now they have to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the training but we are planning to set up a training centre in Labuan and maybe one in Kota Kinabalu in the future.”