Malaysia launches first full-fledged private nuclear medicine centre

THE first full-fledged private Nuclear Medicine Centre in the northern region of Malaysia has been set up at Penang Adventist Hospital.

Penang Adventist Hospital chief executive officer Ronald Koh said the launching of the Nuclear Medicine Centre marked a new development and an important milestone for the hospital.

“We can now offer more treatment options and give our patients renewed hope.

“The most exciting feature of the Nuclear Medicine Centre is the new SPECT/CT, which is going to be a game-changer for the diagnostic process for numerous medical fields, such as cardiology, orthopaedics, oncology, endocrinology, nephrology, and more.

“Coupled with the PET/CT machine, we will be able to provide comprehensive nuclear medicine imaging services to our patients,” he said in his speech during the launching ceremony at Penang Adventist Hospital today.

Koh said the hospital was also launching the year-long Cancer Awareness Campaign, called “12 Ribbons’ Campaign”.

The theme for the campaign is ‘Close the Gap’.

“We are collaborating with 12 assemblymen as Cancer Awareness Ambassadors to achieve cancer care.

“The objectives of the campaign are to create awareness for the community to access the care they need for cancer diseases, to step up cancer literacy and knowledge among the community, and to lead to early detection and prevention by making necessary lifestyle changes.

“We will be offering 30 diagnostic scans to B40 patients in the next three months, utilising RM50,630 from the Penang Adventist Hospital Charity Fund.

“We hope that this will relieve some of our patients’ burden in receiving quality healthcare,” he said.

Nuclear medicine consultant Dr Alex Khoo said nuclear medicine treatment is sensitive and specialised.

“It allows early diagnostics and yields more precise information to enable the doctors to administer proper treatment on the patients.

“It benefits the patients as they do not have to suffer unnecessary investigations,” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Nuclear Medicine Centre was a prime example of a centre of excellence at the cutting edge of medical technology.



“With nuclear imaging, physicians are now able to efficiently and cost-effectively diagnose and treat patients while avoiding more invasive procedures, such as surgery or biopsy.

“The opening of the Nuclear Medicine Centre could not have come at a better time as the country’s international borders are scheduled to reopen on April 1.

“Besides serving local patients, the centre can make the necessary preparations to serve International patients once the international borders reopen.

“This will be an excellent addition to the state’s already burgeoning healthcare travel industry,” he said.

Chow added that according to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025, Penang led the way in healthcare travel revenue, earning RM750 million from 500,000 patients who flew into the state in 2019. Penang was also named the ‘Most Established State in Healthcare Travel’.

Chow said that the manufacturing and services sectors were the twin engines of growth for the Penang.

“In the year 2020, the service industry accounted for nearly half of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“Penang’s total approved manufacturing investments reached an all-time high of RM76.2 billion in 2021, accounting for nearly half of the country’s total.

“I hope that this recent exemplary performance will inspire our healthcare travel industry to reach new heights and continue striving for the betterment of the state and the nation as a whole,” he said.

Also present were Pulau Tikus assemblyman Chris Lee, Indonesia consul-general in Penang Bambang Suharto, Penang Adventist Hospital chief operating officer Dr Thomas Tean, and the hospital chief financial officer Albin Phua.


Story by Christopher Tan

Image from Bulletin Mutiara


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