Published on: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: The National Heart Institute (IJN) attended to 6,436 heart-related cases in Sabah between 1998 and June 2011, when it was felt that its assistance would not be required.
Its Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Robaayah Zambahari listed them as Cardiothoracic Surgery (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: 544; Valve Replacement Surgery (412); Closure of hole-in-heart: (35); Ligation of 'patent ductus arteriosus': 13, Others (including thoracic [chest/lung]operations): 288
As for Cardiology Procedures, they included: Cardiac Catheterisation & Coronary Angiogram: 3.219; Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) with Stenting: 1,687; Permanent Pacemaker Implantation: 205 and Others (including balloon dilatation of narrowed mitral valve): 33
Dr Robaayah said IJN started going to Sabah since 1998.
"After a couple of years, it became regular visits.
For one week in a month, for 11 months in a year, three teams would go to Kota Kinabalu," she said. They were the Cardiology team: one cardiologist (interventionalist), one cardiac catheterisation nurse, one cardiovascular technician and one radiographer. This team would do procedures like angiogram, angioplasty, coronary stenting, Balloon dilatation of Mitral Valve and pacemaker implantation.
Cardiothoracic Surgery Team: one Cardiothoracic surgeon, one surgeon, two scrub nurses. They performed surgery, including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, valve replacement surgery, closure of hole-in-heart, and thoracic (chest / lung) surgery.
Cardiac Anaesthesiology Team: One Consultant Anaesthesiologist and perfusionists. They gave anaesthesia and managed the heart lung bypass machine during open heart surgery and managed the patients in intensive care.
According to Dr Robaayah, the Kota Kinabalu staff also participated in the programme.
"The cardiologist (there was one then) from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, who assisted or performed some of the procedures while the Sabah nurses participated in the cardiac catheterisation lab, operating theatre and intensive care.
However, in December 2010, the IJN management was invited to a meeting in Sabah, to discuss its further participation in the programme.
There were officials from the Ministry, Malaysia and from the Sabah Medical Department (now renamed Sabah Health Department).
"At this meeting, we were informed that we only needed to continue up to June 2011. Sabah already has its own team and was able to take over.
And so we (from IJN) continued till June 2011," Dr Robaayah recalled.
She also said the Training Programme at IJN Kuala Lumpur hopes to make it a "centre of excellence" in three areas.
Managing Director cum Chief Executive Officer of IJN, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Dr Robaayah Zambahari said these are Healthcare Services, Training and Education, and Research and Development.
"For Training and Education, IJN trains both local and foreign specialists and paramedics. Many of the young cardiologists now in private practice were trained at IJN.
"The two cardiothoracic surgeons now serving at the Sabah Cardiothoracic Centre were also trained at IJN," she said.
Quoting statistics, Dr Robaayah said since its inception in 1992 till March 27 this year, IJN has trained 127 specialists from different parts of the world. The breakdown is as follows: Indonesia 5, Vietnam 16, Pakistan 17, Japan 15, Myanmar 7, India 7, Saudi Arabia 5, China 3, Philippines 2, Brunei 1, Nepal 1, Uzbekistan 4, United Kingdom 1, Turkey 2, Iraq 3, Jordan 1, Yeman 5, Egypt 1, Pakistan 2, Sudan 5 and Canada 1.
Currently, there are trainees (both local and foreign) in the respective departments at IJN.
According to Dr Robaayah, any organisation or person who wishes to undergo training at IJN will have to make the request.
"IJN is government-owned and I can assure you that government institutions will always have priority," she said.