New facility: Dr Asri Ranga showing Dr Mah (left) the catherisation laboratory at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital's cardiology unit in Ipoh.
PATIENTS with heart arrhythmia are spared the arduous journey of travelling all the way to Penang or Kuala Lumpur now to seek medical attention with the introduction of radio frequency ablation (RFA) treatment at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.
The Health Ministry’s national adviser for cardiology service, Datuk Dr Omar Ismail said the introduction of RFA to treat irregular heartbeat at the hospital in Ipoh on June 19 marked a major milestone as the procedure was only available at the Penang Hospital and two other private hospitals in the Klang Valley before this.
“The procedure will be carried out by the country’s only two cardiac electrophysiologists in government practice, Dr K. Saravanan and Dr Mah Soot Keng.
“Both doctors are from the Penang Hospital,” he told reporters.
According to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital cardiology unit head Dr Asri Ranga Abdullah Ramaiah, there were about 10 patients waiting to undergo RFA treatment at the hospital although their conditions were not serious.
“At present, we are utilising a portable system as a full system would cost at least RM1mil,” he said, adding that urgent cases would still be referred to the Penang Hospital.
Dr Asri Ranga said the unit, which had
cost RM11.5mil to set up, was still in its infancy stage.
“Our current facility is a temporary set up as we are waiting for the Cardiology Unit to be set up at a new building currently under construction.
“By 2018 when the building is ready, we hope to also introduce paediatric cardiology and intervention cardiology,” said Dr Asri Ranga.
Earlier, Perak Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon revealed that 1,601 coronary angiograms and 577 angioplasty procedures had been carried out successfully at the unit’s catherisation laboratory, cutting down the waiting list from six to two months.
“Of this, 901 angiograms and 277 angioplasty procedures were carried out in 2013.
“A total of 700 angiograms and 300 angioplasty procedures were conducted in the first five months of this year,” he said.