KUCHING: The state is poised to provide a highly specialised tertiary healthcare system when the proposed Sarawak International Medical Centre (SIMC) is ready in three years.
Phase one of the 166-bed hospital in Kota Samarahan near here will cost RM350mil, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said.
The centre will be owned by the Sarawak Specialist Hospital and Medical Centre Sdn Bhd, a company wholly-owned by the state government.
The world renowned US-based Mayo Clinic, which carried out a feasibility study for the project eight years ago, is the consultant for the project.
“The centre will have all the facilities for tertiary medical services and referral facilities for hospitals in Sarawak,” Taib said at SIMC’s foundation stone-laying ceremony yesterday.
He said the hospital, which would house three centres – specialising in kidney and stone, heart and cancer – would provide research facilities to enable doctors and medical specialists to have continued education, and allow them to interact and exchange experiences with each other.
“We need a hospital of this kind to attract specialists and good doctors to work here,” he added.
Taib said a study was now under way to find out the reasons for the high rate of renal disease in Sarawak.
He urged local academic and research institutions to work closely with the hospital when it was in operation.
He said there were more new diseases reported around the world, including ones linked to old age.
Earlier in his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said SIMC would serve as a major supplementary clinical teaching facility for Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
“Both hospitals (SIMC and Unimas) will pool their resources, especially in human expertise and expensive state-of-the-art equipment,” he said.
Dr Chan, who is also chairman of Sarawak Specialist Hospital and Medical Centre Sdn Bhd, said the setting up of SIMC was in line with the state’s vision to become one of the leading integrated tertiary healthcare referral places in the region.
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