PETALING JAYA: With the rise of cancer cases every year, the first Halcyon Radiotherapy machine in South-East Asia to treat this deadly disease has been installed in a private hospital in Malaysia.
“There are 37,000 new cancer cases every year, and many of them will likely have to go for radiotherapy as part of their cancer treatments,” said Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye during the launch of the radiotherapy machine at Beacon Hospital on Tuesday (May 14).
Dr Lee said the machine, brought in by Beacon Hospital, would allow cancer patients to benefit from the latest radiotherapy technology which was “faster and more comfortable”.
He added that this would also help boost Malaysia's standing internationally as a medical hub for advanced cancer treatment and the latest in radiotherapy technology.
According to Dr Lee, the ministry was also exploring public-private partnership to enhance services for cancer patients.
“As such, we are open to the partnership with private hospitals so that patients from public hospitals can be referred to private hospitals to gain the necessary radiotherapy treatments without delay.
“This advanced Halcyon radiotherapy machine in Beacon Hospital would help cancer patients, not just in our country, but also patients from neighbouring countries.
“I’ve been informed that this fast and accurate Halcyon radiotherapy machine can cater to around 100 to 150 patients a day,” he said.
Dr Lee added that a cancer hospital, which will be built in Sungai Petani to cater to patients in the northern region, would be open for tender soon.
He said the hospital was set for completion in the next three years.
The hospital will compliment the three existing cancer hospitals in Malaysia – Institut Kanser Negara (Putrajaya), Hospital Sultan Ismail (Johor) and Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-Kanak in Likas (Sabah).
As part of Beacon Hospital’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme, the hospital launched a RM3mil Halcyon Radiotherapy Welfare to reduce the financial burden of cancer patients.
Beacon Hospital medical director and clinical oncologist Datuk Dr Ibrahim Wahid said the machine would be able to treat 100 patients a day.
He said to qualify for the fund, a patient had to be a Malaysian citizen from a low-income or financially challenged position.
Dr Ibrahim said radiotherapy treatments on the machine would cost between RM3,000 to RM25,000, depending on the treatment prescribed.
He added that the machine coulf treat a wide range of cancers, including head, neck, brain, lungs, prostate, gynaecological and skin tumours.