KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry's mass elective surgery, billed as a health carnival to reduce the backlog of cases and long waiting list at public hospitals, will start at Sarikei Hospital, Sarawak.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said the nationwide campaign was the best available option to enable surgeries to be carried out as soon as possible.
"We are very concerned about patients who need to undergo these surgeries urgently and will do our best with the available resources and experts," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Though Sarikei Hospital was located in a rural area, Dr Hasan said it was fully equipped for such surgeries.
The equipment that had not been fully utilised because of the non-availability of resident surgeons.
"Through the carnival, where such facilities can be fully utilised, young surgeons can be exposed to a host of good facilities available outside the Klang Valley for them to make use of," he said.
Dr Hasan added that if the response was good, the ministry would consider conducting the carnival more frequently.
He said the surgeries that would be carried out during the carnival included cholecystectomy, removal of thyroid nodules, removal of breast lumps, circumcision, inguinal herniarraphy, herniotomy and repair of abdominal hernia.
The mass surgery, he added, was expected to be conducted from Nov 21 to Dec 2 by eight surgeons and two anaesthetists.
"We have 32 patients who have registered to take part in the carnival so far, but are expecting the participation of more than 200 people," he said.
Dr Hassan added that there were currently 237 general surgeons and 326 anaesthetists nationwide.
Those interested in taking part can surf the ministry's website at www.moe.gov.my.