More CT scanners for govt hospitals


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 19 Feb 2003

BY JACQUELINE ANN SURIN

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet wants more computerised tomography (CT) scanners in government hospitals to improve patient care. 

Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said the Cabinet, at its last meeting, had wanted to shorten the waiting period for patients in need of scanning. 

“Presently CT scanners are available in 18 public hospitals and we plan to install four more this year, but this is insufficient for the number of patients hospitals have to deal with,” Chua said yesterday. 

Speaking to reporters after opening the HSC Medical Centre here, he said the four CT scanners – which can be used for early detection of heart attacks, cancer and strokes – would be installed in Miri, Sandakan, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. 

He was unable to give details of the optimum waiting time for patients but added that the ministry was waiting for a report from the Director-General of Health before making its recommendations. 

“The Cabinet did not set a time frame but we should be able to complete the study in a couple of months.”  

Chua said that 70% to 80% of a doctor’s diagnosis today was based on imaging and laboratory tests, and about 30% on a doctor’s skill. 

“Imaging is a critical component of a medical diagnosis and the increase in scanners will help our medical practitioners and boost medical tourism here,” he said. 

Chua said the ministry would soon be launching a major anti-tobacco campaign nationwide. The five-year campaign would have an annual budget of RM20mil. 

Earlier, he congratulated HSC Medical Centre for installing the first Siemens Sensation 16 Multi Slice CT scanner in South-East Asia. 

The state-of-the-art scanner can complete a full non-intrusive body scan in 22 seconds.

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