Health Ministry explains misconceptions about cardiology services in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: National Heart Institute (IJN), together with the Health Ministry (MOH) hospitals, continues to serve as a referral centre for patients requiring cardiology and cardiothoracic services, including civil servants, pensioners and their dependents, with the government covering treatment costs.

MOH said that over the past two decades, IJN and MOH have remained longstanding partners, with lJN supporting public hospitals through patient referrals and currently, 10 MOH hospitals offer cardiology services, and seven provide cardiothoracic services nationwide.

"MOH hospitals are well-equipped and staffed with qualified physicians and surgeons, offering services comparable to IJN.

"The strategy of referring complicated and critical cases to IJN is aimed at optimising resource utilisation and ensuring the access of the general public to MOH hospital services. Therefore, sharing patient loads with IJN should not be mistaken as any form of incapacity on the part of MOH hospitals,” it said in a statement on Monday (Feb 26).

The statement was issued in response to the article published in a news portal yesterday.

Refuting the misleading accusations made in the article, the MOH said patients are discharged from IJN only when their conditions are stable, with a monitoring period of at least six months to one year for adults and one to two years for children.

"These stable patients then return to MOH hospitals for ongoing care under cardiology and cardiothoracic departments,” it said.

It added that this strategic approach allows approximately 4,000 new patients to be referred to IJN annually, maximising cost-effectiveness.

"It is also worth highlighting that the costs associated with patient referrals to IJN are covered by the federal funding provided by the Finance Ministry.

"While the expenses for these referrals are increasing annually, prudent cost control measures are essential to treat as many patients as possible with existing resources, ensuring fairness to taxpayers,” the statement said. - Bernama

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