Serdang Heart Centre in overdrive to tackle maintenance woes

PETALING JAYA: Work is underway to resolve maintenance issues at the four non-functioning operating theatres at the Pusat Jantung Hospital Serdang (Serdang Heart Centre), which resulted in many patients requiring urgent open heart surgery being on a long waiting list.

The Star has learnt that a meeting was held between the cardiothoracic operation theatre team, hospital top management and the Selangor Health Department last week.

Sources said it was decided in the meeting that the operating theatres at the cardiac facility will be opened in phases, with one expected to be operational by the end of June.

“A mock run will be held on all four cardiothoracic operating theatres simultaneously in the presence of the main contractor and other stakeholders, early next week,” the source said.

“The Serdang Heart Centre will have to prepare a gantt chart (a graphical representation of activity against time) to get the cardiothoracic operating centres up and running as early as the end of June,” added the source.

The Star reported on Tuesday that four operating theatres at the cardiac facility which was opened less than two years ago cannot be used due to maintenance problems, particularly air conditioning issues.

Meanwhile, only one of the four older operating theatres is operational at the old hospital building.The main contractor is also required to ensure that the contract terms are in order, the source said.

The source added that it was also decided that a mandatory root cause analysis was to be conducted to identify the defects that have hampered operations at the facility.

“There will be monthly meetings at the state health department’s level to monitor the defects status at the Serdang Heart Centre until the defect liability period expires on September 2024,” the source said.

Currently, surgeons are relying on two operating theatres in the old hospital building to carry out surgeries.

One of these was also temporarily out of order due to maintenance issues but has been in operation since May 13 following repairs.

Meanwhile, a senior official at the hospital recently said that four operating theatres in the old hospital building were affected by air conditioning issues, out of which two have been operational since May 13, following repairs.

“The concessionaire is repairing the other two operating theatres and is in the midst of sourcing spare parts,” he said.

“The operating theatres at the Serdang Heart Centre block are still non-functional. The contractor and the Public Works Department are running tests to ensure no disruptions including air-conditioning,” he added.

The infrastructure issues at the facility had left some 1,000 patients on a waiting list that stretches over several months.

The cardiac facility, opened in December 2022, is one of the main cardiology centres in the country, with referrals from all over the country. The Selangor Health Department and the Health Ministry have yet to comment on the matter.

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