GEORGE TOWN: Around 5,000 adolescents below 18 years old were diagnosed with heart defect at birth in Malaysia in 2013.
Penang St John Ambulance State Commander Datuk Dr Yee Thiam Sun said 34.3 million patients in the world suffered congenital heart disease in the same year.
He said congenital heart disease patients require very sophisticated and high-tech support for recovery.
“However, not many people can afford the medical fees for medical support from hospitals. They would need thousands of ringgit to be able to pay for an operation,” he told a press conference here today.
Earlier, Penang St John Ambulance and MediAssist4U Sdn Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding for the ‘Save A Heart’ programme.
The main purpose for the programme is to provide medical aid to children under 18 years old with congenital heart defect by sending them to Narayana Hospital in Bangalore, India.
Meanwhile, MediAssist4U medical director Dr Patrick Justin Lawrence said the Narayana hospital is recognised for their medical services, in terms of cardiology.
He said the odds of success in a cardiothoracic surgery is almost 100 percent and the recovery rate is miraculously rapid.
“One of the main benefits of this hospital is that it is owned by prominent cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, who has also agreed to be part of our programme.
“Also, the average time a patient stays in their intensive care unit (ICU) is about 3 to 4 days only, and it takes about two weeks for the patient to be a normal, healthy person like you and me,” he said.
The programme is effective from Feb 1 until the end of January 2017.- BERNAMA