KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – Two medical NGOs, namely the Maaedicare Charitable Foundation and the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), have announced a breakthrough partnership to deliver affordable cardiac screenings to cancer patients.
Maaedicare, which operates the Maaedicare Cardiac Diagnostic Centre, will provide procedures such as electrocardiography, echocardiography, exercise stress test, Holter monitoring, calcium scoring, CT coronary angiogram, coronary angiogram, and coronary angioplasty, as well as radiological procedures such as X-rays and CT scans.
Through the collaboration, the Maaedicare Cardiac Diagnostic Centre will offer high-end but inexpensive screenings to patients referred by NCSM. The partnership will shorten the waiting time for cancer patients for such screenings.
Maaedicare CEO Dr Haji Azriman Rosman said this alliance is a breakthrough for the ever-evolving health care industry, and specifically for cancer patients, as there is a need for more aggressive and better coordinated cardio-oncology care.
“Cancer patients should be aware of the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the need for cardiac screenings before, during, and after their cancer therapies,” he said, adding Maaedicare will continue to advocate for a proactive approach for cardio-oncology care to improve the quality of care for patients.
‘’As a medical NGO that already provides dialysis and cardiac patient subsidies, the Foundation is happy to assist cancer patients with the same. The affordable cost of screenings, will positively lessen the financial burden for the patients,’’ he said.
Head of Maaedicare Cardiac Diagnostic Centre Dr Nik Mohd Adzrul Ariff said cancer patients and survivors have been found to have a greater risk of mortality due to cardiovascular disease, hence early cardiac screening is important.
“The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in 2019 reported that one out of ten cancer patients die from complications from cardiovascular diseases. ESC also reports that among cancer survivors below the age of 55, the risk of cardiovascular death was ten-fold greater than for the general population, thus early cardiac diagnostics are important,” he said.
“In fact, for some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease,” he said, adding that the partnership will be advantageous to both NGOs as they address pertinent challenges faced by cancer patients.
This partnership is especially apt and timely in line with this year’s global slogan of ‘Closing the Cancer Care Gap,” said NCSM managing director Dr Murallitharan M.
“There have been many challenges to our national health care system due to the pandemic, especially in terms of cancer care with delays in caring for patients and ever rising numbers of new patients,” he said.
“Through this partnership, we are making available a new, affordable, and cost-effective option for all patients, especially those who are being treated within the public sector, to quickly get the diagnostic services needed in terms of both their cancer and cardiovascular care.”
“This, we hope, will help contribute towards reducing waiting times and over-congestion within government hospitals, while also helping patients to be treated in a timely manner,” he added.