Cardiac patients may be referred to private hospitals while waiting for Serdang Heart Centre repairs to complete

PETALING JAYA: Patients who are in need may be referred to private hospitals' cardiac surgery units until the Sultan Idris Shah Hospital's (HSIS) operating rooms are operational, provided that no resources are available at public hospitals.

Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said private hospitals in the Klang Valley will have the capacity to provide aid to patients who are awaiting surgeries related to cardiac complications at the HSIS heart centre.

"These facilities are available to patients who are unable to wait for surgical appointments.

"The cost of these services is determined through a public-private partnership agreement between the Health Ministry and select private hospitals, which is wholly financed by the government," he said in a statement Tuesday (May 21).

Dr Kuljit said there are six to eight private hospitals in the Klang Valley equipped with state-of-the-art operating rooms for cardiac surgery and staffed with senior cardiothoracic surgeons.

He said it is possible that such referrals may be extended to more private centres during this crucial phase.

He also strongly urged the government to expedite the process of recruiting foreign nurses, as private hospitals would then be in a better position to help public hospitals attend to the extensive backlog of patients awaiting care.

The pandemic saw a notable success in the process of decanting patients to private hospitals in critical situations, Dr Kuljit said.

As such, private hospitals are now inclined to offer their assistance to the government in light of the infrastructure challenges encountered in HSIS, he added.

He said the number of admissions for Covid-19 in private hospitals remains minimal, with no significant rise that would cause concern for the intensive care units or emergency departments.

"Private hospitals will adhere to any directives issued by the Health Ministry in the case of an abrupt surge in admissions due to Covid-19 infection," he said.

On Monday (May 20), Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said repairs to the damage or defects in the surgery complex at the HSIS Heart Centre in Serdang will begin next month.

He said the assurance was given by the project contractor after a meeting with the Selangor Health Department and the Public Works Department recently.

He was commenting on a front-page report in The Star on May 14 about maintenance issues at the cardiac facility in Serdang Hospital, which had caused its four operating theatres to be non-functional and resulted in over 1,000 patients on the waiting list.

Opened in December 2022, the heart centre is one of Malaysia’s primary cardiology centres, receiving referrals from all over the nation.

The Selangor Health Department later confirmed technical issues facing the Heart Surgery Complex at HSIS, including electrical supply and high humidity.

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