Deputy Premier: Still not enough mammography machines in govt hospitals in Sarawak

Dr Sim (centre) witnessing the handover of a mock placard for medical equipment by Noraibah (second right) to Dr Veronica (third left) while others look at the Sadong Jaya clinic on Feb 23, 2024.

By Wilfred Pilo

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Feb 23: There is still a lack of mammography machines in government hospitals in Sarawak to detect breast cancer, says Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian.

According to Dr Sim, only four hospitals have mammography machines, including one that is non-operational.

“At the moment, the three operational mammography machines are in Kuching, Sibu, and Miri, while the one in Bintulu is not operational and is in repair,” he said.

Dr Sim, who also is the Sarawak Public Health, Housing, and Local Government Minister, stressed that since breast cancer is identified as the highest killer disease for women in Sarawak, the machine is much needed in government hospitals.

“The State government is looking into (acquiring) the facilities, but I also urge the corporate sector to come forward to help the government.

“Such effort to help the government is important as it is to help our community, especially our women, whether they are from urban or rural settings,” he said.

He said this after officiating the handover ceremony of medical equipment from Petroleum Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) and the Association of Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Sarawak (Sabati) held at the Sadong Jaya clinic today.

Dr Sim lamented that 52 per cent of women in Sarawak have breast cancer, and early detection and intervention are vital to combat it.

Meanwhile, PETRONAS Sarawak senior manager Noraibah Rabu shared that they sponsored a multi-parameter patient monitor, a fetal Doppler (a test that uses sound waves to check the baby’s heartbeat), and a handheld pulse oximeter to various government clinics in the State.

“This programme was in collaboration with Sabati to share an important responsibility towards providing quality medical services in rural clinics and hospitals in rural Sarawak,” she said.

Sabati deputy president and honorary secretary Datin Amar Enn Ong Siok Ean, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development and Sadong Jaya assemblyman Datuk Aidel Lariwoo, Batang Sadong MP Rodiyah Sapiee, Asajaya district officer Rais Ahmad, Sarawak health director Dr Veronica Lugah were present. — DayakDaily