CHILDREN with congenital heart disease, especially from poor families, are expected to benefit from the Miracle Baby Programme.
Under the programme by the Health Ministry and Hospital Penang, surgery will be carried out at minimal cost.
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Education Foundation board of trustees chairman Tan Sri Dr Sak Cheng Lum said the medical team of Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Hospital (SSSSH) in India would be transferring their knowledge and expertise to local specialists and paramedics.
“This Miracle Baby Programme was mooted by UTAR chancellor Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik when he visited SSSSH in 2016.
“Impressed by the charitable efforts and expertise of the hospital team in helping children born with heart disease, Dr Ling felt that more could be done to save babies in Malaysia whose families cannot afford expensive private medical care,” Dr Sak said during the launch of the programme at Hospital Penang.
“We will continue to seek sponsorship from donors to keep this programme going,” he added.
In a video telecast, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said cardiologists at Hospital Penang would collaborate with the surgical team from SSSSH India to perform heart surgery while UTAR would coordinate logistics with help from the public.
He added that so far, 12 patients including three from Sabah had received treatment at Hospital Penang under the programme.
Dr Noor Hisham said the programme would spur the ministry’s plan to provide more paediatric heart surgery services at Hospital Seberang Jaya too.
The expansion plan of the hospital is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Also at the launch were SSSSH chairman Dr Sreenivas Chodagam and Hospital Penang director Datuk Dr Teo Gim Sian.