Dr Adham (seated) signs the visitors book at SGH. Seen (from left) are State Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing, SGH director Dr Ngian Hie Ung and Dr Sim.

KUCHING: Sarawak needs a dedicated cancer specialist hospital to provide the best medical facilities to cancer patients in the state.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said such a hospital is long overdue as the state records the fifth highest cancer patients nationwide.

“Currently, Sarawakians do not have access and facilities that the cancer patients in other parts of Malaysia enjoy.

“Based on consultants estimate, a dedicated cancer hospital will cost up to RM900 million, depending on size and auxiliary facilities.

“From the testimony of the patients that we met tonight, I am more inspired than ever to fight for a cancer centre for Sarawak,” he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Sept 15).

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Sim visited the Radiation and Oncology Service of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) with Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

“Thank you, Dr Adham for the working visit straight from Kuching International airport to SGH tonight before leaving for Sibu 7am tomorrow morning (Sept 16) for Hari Malaysia.

“This was part of the follow-up of my meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the urgent need to have a dedicated specialist cancer hospital in Sarawak,” he said.

Dr Sim said both him and Dr Adham spoke to a Dayak gentleman and his wife who travelled more than 13 hours to SGH for radiotherapy and still had three patients ahead of him at 8.30pm.

“We are one country but we have two standards. We also met a fellow Sarawakian who rushed back from Norway despite the quarantine to be at his father’s bedside at palliative care ward,” he said.

The Batu Kawa assemblyman said, however, the returning Sarawakian had greatly appreciated the expert care and passion by the nurses and doctors despite the hospital’s limitations in terms of physical spaces and facilities.