KPJ opens Radiotherapy, Oncology Centre
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s first Radiotherapy and Oncology Centre at KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital created easier access to cancer treatment services and boosted the health tourism initiative in Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Shafie said although the Malaysian National Cancer Registry 2007 - 2011 reported the least breast cancer cases, highly incurring in women aged 45 to 60, in the state, Sabah experienced the second highest number of cervical cancer cases in the nation.
Therefore, he said Sabah needs a good Radiotherapy and Oncology centre to deal with cervical cancer problems that had not been detected early due to lack of awareness
“I believe the existence of KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital’s Radiotherapy and Oncology Centre will enhance the healthcare landscape to be more dynamic not only in Sabah but also in this region,” said Shafie, whose speech was delivered by State Secretary Datuk Hashim Paijan, at the hospital’s Radiotherapy and Oncology Centre official launch here yesterday.
“KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital will assist in providing high quality services to address the increasing cancer-related cases in Sabah and also open the way for patients from abroad, especially from Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and China.
“This launch is a success that will pave the way for Sabah to also be known as the world’s health tourism hub, which will directly help improve economic growth in the State,” he added.
According to KPJ Sabah president and managing director Dato Amiruddin Abdul Satar, with 466 healthcare workers, KPJ Sabah has 40 residents and over 30 fully trained and experienced visiting medical specialist consultants.
“In 2017, a total of 480 cancer patients received cancer treatment in which 379 patients for chemotherapy and 101 patients for radiotherapy,” said Amiruddin.
“In 2018 alone, this amount increased by 40% for cancer treatment, 47% for chemotherapy treatment and 13% for radiotherapy treatment,” he revealed.
Although cervical cancer is the highest in occurrence in Sabah, KPJ Sabah received more cases of breast cancer, spurring it to provide free breast cancer radiotherapy for five patients currently undergoing treatment in public sector hospitals.
Since the opening of the RM13 million centre on May 1, 2017, the hospital has conducted 150 chemotherapy on average and 20 to 30 radiotherapy sessions per month.
Previously, cancer patients had to travel to Singapore or Hong Kong for treatment.
Hashim (fourth left), accompanied by Amiruddin (third left), listening to a briefing about the RM11 million radiotherapy equipment at the KPJ Sabah Radiotherapy and Oncology Centre by oncologist consultant Dr Daren Teoh Choon Yu.