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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 4 — The number of heart patients in Penang are seeing an alarming increase of between 2,000 to 3,000 new patients annually, said Penang Hospital’s head of Cardiology Department, Datuk Dr Omar Ismail.
He said as at last year, a total of 15,000 heart patients were recorded in Penang and this number is expected to increase each year.
“We are seeing an upward trend in the number of heart patients and this is worrying as many still do not realise that heart disease is preventable through a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Omar said.
He welcomed the Prime Minister’s recent announcement under Budget 2017 that new heart facilities will be built at Penang Hospital, Serdang, Johor Baru and Kuching.
“The heart facility in Penang will cost RM10 million and it is to cater to all patients in the northern region,” he said in a press conference after the launch of the World Heart Day 2016 at the hospital today.
On whether the upgrading works in Penang Hospital that starts soon could affect emergency situations involving heart patients, Dr Omar said all heart patients who had to undergo surgery will be transferred to the Alor Setar Hospital during the period.
“The Alor Setar Hospital has agreed to take in patients who needed major heart operations such as a heart bypass,” he said.
He added that the Alor Setar Hospital’s cardiology department was already upgraded so it will be able to cater to major heart operations.