Bintulu healthcare facilities get haemodialysis machines worth over RM200,000


Fatimah greets a patient receiving haemodialysis at Tatau Health Clinic. At left is Dr Suzalinna.

TATAU (April 1): Five haemodialysis machines worth RM205,750 were handed over to Tatau Health Clinic (two units) and Bintulu Hospital (three units) today.

Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, who handed over the machines at Tatau Health Clinic, said each haemodialysis machine cost RM41,150.

“These new units can increase the number of existing machines due to the increasing number of patients being treated at Tatau Health Clinic and Bintulu Hospital.

“In 2023, the Sarawak Welfare Department has purchased 24 haemodialysis machines through a tender. One machine is worth RM41,150 and the total cost of purchasing 24 machines is RM987,600,” she said.

Fatimah said the placement and addition of haemodialysis machines in government health facilities across Sarawak was based on three main reasons – the increase in the number of kidney patients undergoing treatment, replacement of old and outdated haemodialysis machines, and high-capacity utilisation of the machines.

“A haemodialysis machine can accommodate the additional number of kidney patients being treated, up to five to six people per day,” she said.

Fatimah said there were 13 new patients under the Special Aid for Kidney Patients (BKPBP) this year with 109 extended applications approved with an expenditure of RM2,501,796 for Bintulu Division.

“The Special Aid for Kidney Patients is an initiative of the Sarawak government to help ease the burden of kidney patients in Sarawak who require treatment for kidney disease. This assistance has been approved by the State Executive Council of Sarawak from March 2020,” she said.

A kidney patient applying for the BKPBP can receive a maximum of RM1,820 for 12 months, totalling RM21,840 per year for 14 sessions (RM130 per session) of haemodialysis treatment at non-governmental organisation treatment centres.

To control the number of kidney patients, Fatimah urged the relevant agencies to come up with more initiatives to create awareness and educate people on how to protect their kidneys.

She said that in future, her ministry and relevant agencies can jointly organise roadshows, especially to promote healthy lifestyles, while at the same time providing a venue to promote the available health assistance provided by the state government.

On hand to receive the machines was Bintulu Hospital director Dr Suzalinna Sulaiman.