Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tired of waiting for their turn


Saturday June 15, 2013

By ZORA CHAN
zora@thestar.com.my



KUCHING: Sarawak General Hospital’s (SGH) radiotherapy and oncology department needs to improve its services such as having more planning simulators to meet the demands of cancer patients in the state.
Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen said when the existing sole planning simulator broke down more than a month ago, many radiotherapy appointments had to be put on hold.
“Before patients can have their radiotherapy treatment, they have to go for planning first but since the simulator is broken, they have to wait or go for the second treatment option which is chemotherapy.
“In some cases, patients must do the planning first and presently there are 11 on the waiting list. Having one planning simulator is insufficient for the whole of Sarawak. Sarawakians deserve better than this,” he told reporters after meeting a doctor in charge at the department here yesterday.
Chong said patients came to him recently to highlight the matter after getting tired of waiting to have their planning done.
He said the doctor explained that the hospital could not fly patients to Kuala Lumpur to do the planning as it was not cost-effective.
“SGH may not deem this necessary but for patients, one day's delay means one day's higher risk,” he said.
“The doctor told me that the spare parts for the planning simulator will arrive here from Europe next Monday and they will fix it as soon as possible so that the simulator can be used by Thursday,” he said.
Chong believed that the spare parts could have arrived earlier if the supply of medical equipment was not monopolised by one supplier and maintenance company.
“That’s why there is no urgency to increase efficiency,” he pointed out, adding that he would raise the matter in the coming Parliament sitting.
He said many patients could not afford to seek private treatment as one course of planning and radiotherapy in Singapore would cost about RM150,000.
~ The Star

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