MIRI: Eighty-five lives were saved last year after the Health Ministry deployed neurosurgeons to Miri Hospital on a rotational basis, says Dr Michael Teo.
The Miri MP said patients were able to undergo emergency brain surgeries here instead of having to travel to Kuching or Brunei.
“Miri Hospital previously could not perform any brain surgery procedure due to the absence of neurosurgeons until a year ago when I brought up this issue to the ministry.
“Patients in need of surgery at that time had to be flown by helicopter to be operated on at the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching or transported to Brunei for surgery.
“Such long trips posed a lot of risks for these patients staying in Miri and northern Sarawak.
“Miri Hospital caters to the needs of the whole of northern Sarawak.
“One year ago after this issue was raised with the Health Ministry, arrangements were made for a neurosurgeon to be placed at the Miri Hospital to handle such patients in northern Sarawak.
“Within a year, 85 lives were saved through such emergency brain surgeries, ” he said.
Due to a shortage of neurosurgeons, Dr Teo said the ministry could not station one permanently at the Miri Hospital.
“The present arrangement is for neurosurgeons from the Sarawak General Hospital fly to Miri Hospital on a two-week rotational basis, ” he said.
“This means that there will be a neurosurgeon available in Miri Hospital to handle the increasing number such patients every day.”
Dr Teo said the latest case was a few days ago that involved a 22-year-old woman who collapsed after suffering bleeding in her brain.
“She was in a coma for two days at the Miri Hospital but has fully recovered after an emergency brain surgery was carried out by neurosurgeon Dr Manvinder Singh, ” he said.
Dr Teo met Dr Manvinder and Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong while visiting the hospital to hand over MySalam and Peka B40 vouchers to patients.
It was reported in April last year that the country is facing a shortage of neurologists and this is hampering the effort to treat stroke patients whose number is on the rise.
There is an average of 92 admissions each day to Malaysian healthcare facilities.
About 40% of them are below the age of 60, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said.
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