Friday, October 17, 2008


Rm 250 million cancer treatment centre at Likas ready by 2010

A comprehensive centre for cancer treatment is being constructed adjacent to the Likas Women and Children’s Hospital here.

The RM250 million building, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2010, is part of the Health Ministry’s development plans for Sabah.
The Ministry’s Deputy Director General Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah said Sabahans are very fortunate to have a cancer centre because not all states in Malaysia has one.
“There is one each in Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Kota Baru as well as an upcoming one in Putrajaya,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after officiating at the Malaysian Oncological Society (MOS) annual scientific meeting here yesterday, Noor Hasham said the Ministry tries to regionalize its services before expanding out to all states.
Sabah and Sarawak are two of the six regions for all services and diseases, not only cancer, and this includes planning, strategy and bio-science among others, he said, adding that the other states in Peninsular Malaysia are divided into the north, south, central and east coast regions.
Meanwhile, Organising Chairman of the event, Dr Jayendran Dharmarathan disclosed that piling works on the cancer centre have commenced.
“It will be a multi-storey complex with about 250 beds and housing all aspects pertaining to cancer such as radio therapy, chemotherapy, oncology and palliative care among others,” he said.
Noor Hisham also disclosed that the aim of the event was to highlight awareness on cancer treatment particularly in Sabah.
The 600 participants are made up of people who are involved in cancer management, including doctors, nurses, care providers and administrators, he said, adding 150 of the participants are from Sabah.
“We are looking into developing awareness on cancer care at every level as well as encourage awareness about all types of cancer although we know that breast cancer is probably the highest among women in Malaysia,” he said.
According to Noor Hisham, the Government is in the process of making it easier for the public to be diagnosed and treated for cancer as early detection is very important due to the fact that most of the patients come very late because they do not have the accessibility.
In view of this, the Government has improved its services by reducing the time to get the cancer test result from four weeks to one week, he said, adding that in some cases, the fastest a patient can get the result was within three days.
He also stressed that by getting treatment early, it is less financially draining on the patients as those suffering from late-stage cancer is at high risk of it re-occuring, therefore needs frequent treatments.
On the instances of people preferring to seek traditional treatment for cancer, Noor Hisham said the Government and medical doctors are not against traditional or alternative medicine.
“All we are asking is for the traditional medicine to be researched properly and if is a good and proven to cure cancer, we can market it around the world,”he said.
He also stressed that Malaysians are very fortunate because public health is heavily subsidized by the Government as it spends about 30 per cent of the country’s GDP on public health.
“By just paying RM1 at Government hospitals, the public can get treatment for their ailments,” he said.