Columbia Asia Hospital – Tebrau Launches a Dialysis Unit to Accommodate Johor’s Increasing Kidney Patients

Addressing the shortage of dialysis services in the state

Johor State Health and Unity Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon visits the new dialysis unit at Columbia Asia Hospital-Tebrau

Columbia Asia Group of hospitals launched its second dialysis unit at Columbia Asia Hospital – Tebrau (CAH-Tebrau) in Johor Bahru. The dialysis unit was officiated by Johor State Health and Unity Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon. The setting up of this centre is to fulfil the dialysis needs of the increasing number of renal failure patients in the state.

The Malaysian Dialysis and Transplant Registry reported that there were 8,431 dialysis patients at the start of 2018. Within a year, that number increased to 44,136 patients.

“In short, there are 8000 new kidney patients in Malaysia who need dialysis every year,” said CAH-Tebrau’s Regional General Manager, Rahani Yaacob in her speech during the launch. According to a 2018 study by the National Renal Registry of Malaysia, Johor has the second highest number of patients requiring dialysis per million population, after Wilayah Persekutuan.

“We at CAH-Tebrau, are doing our part to cope with this dire situation in Johor,” adds Rahani. “Even before we launched our dialysis centre, we had received many enquiries asking if we have dialysis services, especially from establishments in and around the Tebrau area. With the opening of this dialysis centre, we hope to make dialysis accessible and convenient for the kidney patients, closer to their homes.”

Johor is on the way to advanced healthcare

The guest-of-honour, Ling Tian Soon, who is also a member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly, mentioned how Johor can become advanced by 2030, not only in economy and quality of life but also in its medical services. He believes that the healthcare system in Johor will surpass other states in the future.

Regarding dialysis, he said, “Awareness is more important than treatment,” said Ling. He also reminded the guests about the importance of preventing hypertension, diabetes and obesity as these too can lead to kidney complications.

During the launch, Ling was accompanied by Rahani Yaacob in visiting the dialysis unit. The guest-of-honour endeared himself to patients and even got himself a basic health screening, setting a good example to those in his presence.

Exco Ling undergoes health screening during his visit, overseen by CAH-Tebrau’s Regional General Manager, Rahani Yaacob

Columbia Asia Group CEO and MD, Dr Chan Boon Kheng who also accompanied Ling during the hospital tour, implied the importance of screenings and promoted kidney health awareness. “We need to continue to work with our partners to take the message of prevention and early detection home,” said Dr Chan. “On our own, Columbia Asia can only provide dialysis chairs, but together we can do more for patients and their families.”

Guests at the event included representatives from the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club and PERKESO, as well as other private healthcare providers, NGOs, corporations, third party administrators, insurers, vendors, clients and medical staff.

Also at the launch were booths promoting health screenings, physiotherapy and dietary consultation. There were also booths featuring eye check-ups by Eyemate, healthy shoes by Great Healthcare, AIA insurance, renal care by Fresenius Kabi and StemCell by CyroCord.

Heading the CAH-Tebrau nephrology unit is Consultant Internal Medicine Physician & Nephrologist, Dr Tee Shin Kuan. According to Dr Tee, dialysis services at CAH-Tebrau entail an in-house nephrologist who provides clinical management of hemodialysis. Experienced renal nurses are also on hand for each patient during their hemodialysis session.

Another factor that sets this centre apart from other centres is the support services that add more value to the dialysis sessions. A dietician is on site to provide consultation to the dialysis patients, supervising their menu and food intake. This is to ensure patients are getting the right nutrition to support their health condition.

The dialysis centre at CAH-Tebrau is a safe, clean, spacious, and comfortable environment with 11 hemodialysis stations that are open six days a week.

CAH-Tebrau’s dialysis machines have an in-built Therapy Data Management System, an integrated system that enables documenting and monitoring of patients’ information. It shows dialysis treatments and medication data immediately, along with laboratory and other data related to pre-dialysis/dialysis procedures. This continuous tracking and analysis are essential to planning the right treatment for the patient. Other factors that benefit patients and their family members/caregivers include 24-hour Emergency and laboratory services, Internet, phone tablet, refreshments and on-site parking.