KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 – Caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today opened a Heart Centre at Serdang Hospital in Selangor that will begin operations from December 12.
Serdang Hospital is a major specialist public hospital that acts as a referral centre for heart treatment for the central region in the peninsula, as well as a National Tertiary Cardiac Referral Centre for complex cardiac cases from across the country.
“In light of the fact that heart disease is the country’s number one killer, this cardiology centre was set up to expedite treatment and is expected to be able to reduce the waiting time for angiogram treatment from 18 months to nine months for stable elective cases,” Khairy said today at the handover ceremony of Serdang Hospital’s Cardiac Centre project.
“However, emergency cases will still be given immediate treatment.”
The incumbent Rembau MP from Umno also said the cardiac facility at Serdang Hospital is equipped with four operation theatres, a coronary care unit, a cardiology care unit, an intensive cardiothoracic care unit, a paediatric intensive cardiothoracic care unit, an invasive cardiac lab, a non-invasive cardiac lab, a cardiac recovery unit, a medicine transfer unit, a supply centre and sterile department, a cardiac radiology department, and a cardiac emergency department.
Khairy said with the new Heart Centre, Serdang Hospital will be able to nearly double the number of heart procedures from 35,000 to up to 60,000 a year.
“And with the opening of this centre too, we now have the biggest invasive cardiac facilities in the Southeast Asia region.”
He noted that cardiac services in Serdang Hospital are among the busiest, with the highest workload among all 10 cardiac service facilities in the Ministry of Health (MOH) at more than 40,000 outpatients and over 12,000 invasive treatments annually, including angiograms and coronary angioplasty.
The number of admissions to Serdang Hospital’s cardiology ward has increased by an average of 800 to 1,200 cases every year from 2015 to 2018. The bed occupancy rate in the ward rose from 101 per cent to 159 per cent in that period.
“This has increased patients’ waiting time from six to 18 months,” Khairy said.
Besides receiving more heart disease patients from across the country, the health minister expected more cardiologists from MOH to be trained at Serdang Hospital’s Heart Centre.
He noted that Malaysia has only 300 cardiology specialists, 10 per cent of whom work in MOH while the rest are based in private hospitals. Yet, MOH cardiac services manage three times the workload of private hospitals.
“In line with that, MOH welcomes specialists who wish to contribute to MOH’s cardiac services, either through sessional sessions or via corporate social responsibility (CSR).”
The new Heart Centre at Serdang Hospital is an eight-storey building with 262 beds and a nine-storey car park. This project was approved under the 10th Malaysia Plan seven years ago in 2015 for RM546 million, comprising RM311 million for building construction and RM235 million equipment procurement.
Serdang Hospital’s new cardiac centre will have the first invasive cardiac lab (ICL) in an emergency department in Malaysia, which will enable immediate treatment for acute heart attack cases through primary percutaneous coronary intervention.
The Serdang Hospital Heart Centre is equipped with six ICL, including two that have yet to be completed. It will cost RM30 million to complete the two ICL, enabling the cardiac facility to receive an additional 6,000 cases annually.
Serdang Hospital’s new cardiac centre also hosts the first hybrid operating theatre in an MOH facility with angioplasty machines and surgical equipment, where complex cases requiring both surgical and cardiac specialist treatment – such as Transfemoral Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), Thoracic EndoVascular Repair of Aorta (TEVAR)/ EndoVascular Repair of Aortic Aneurysm (EVAR) – can be treated in the same operating theatre.
“This procedure will benefit 200 to 250 patients a year.”
The Serdang Hospital Heart Centre will be the first MOH hospital to be equipped with a Tesla MRI 3.0 machine, specifically for heart diagnostic imaging, that can reduce the time to produce images from 45 to 20 minutes.
“This machine is also equipped with 64 imaging channels that can produce images that are four times clearer than a regular MRI machine (high definition).”
As many as 851 personal computers and 47 laptops will be provided for use at the Serdang Hospital Heart Centre.