Centre will improve access to cancer treatments

By Umie Syazwanie Mohd & Aisyah Suhiri

KUCHING: The proposed Sarawak Cancer Centre will help to improve access to cancer treatments for Sarawakians, said Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society (SCCS) executive director Jodie Sim.

It would certainly reduce waiting time as currently, some patients needed to wait for their turns to receive treatment in Kuala Lumpur, she said.

“These, coupled with the pandemic, have increased backlogs, logistics costs and waiting time for patients in Sarawak which can affect their treatment process,” she added when commenting on the proposed centre.

Recently, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian disclosed that he would soon discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin the proposed setting up of the centre.

According to Sim, limited children treatment facilities in the country and the ongoing pandemic had made it difficult for patients to receive their treatments.

The SCCS executive director said the proposed centre would certainly also help to lighten the burden of major hospitals in the federal capital.

Currently, she said some scanning for childhood cancer patients had to be done in private hospitals or labs in Kuala Lumpur.

“The costs of these are high for many of the families that we serve; they are currently either borne fully or subsidised partially by SCCS,” she revealed.

Sim also hoped that the new proposed Sarawak Cancer Centre would be able to conduct specialised procedures which previously could only be done out of Sarawak.

The provision of scans and the latest lab services will also be able to improve the treatment outcomes,” she said.