March 18, 2022

Adventist Hospital Launches Nuclear Medicine Center in Northern Malaysia

Facilities are the first full-fledged private option in the north of that Asian nation.

Edward Rodriguez and Christopher Tan, Southern Asia-Pacific Division

Penang Adventist Hospital (PAH), located in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, launched the first full-fledged private nuclear medicine center in northern Malaysia on March 13, 2022.

Named the Adventist Nuclear Medicine Centre, the new division marks the beginning of greater milestones for the hospital, offering various diagnostic and medical procedures as it expands services to its patients.

The new facility offers diagnostic and treatment procedures for specific conditions and diseases such as hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, lymphomas, and bone pain caused by different types of cancer.

“We can now offer more treatment options and give our patients renewed hope,” Richard Koh, Penang Adventist Hospital chief executive officer, said. “The most exciting feature of the Nuclear Medicine Centre is the new SPECT/CT, which is going to be a game-changer for the diagnostic process for numerous medical fields, such as cardiology, orthopedics, oncology, endocrinology, nephrology, and more,” he added.

SPECT/CT stands for single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography, a nuclear diagnostics system that can combine two different types of scans to provide accurate information about how different parts of the body are working and to identify problems.

“Coupled with the PET/CT machine, we will be able to provide comprehensive nuclear medicine imaging services to our patients,” Koh said during his speech at the launching ceremony at Penang Adventist Hospital.

PET/CT stands for positron emission tomography/computed tomography. This technique uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers or radiopharmaceuticals, a special camera, and a computer to evaluate organ and tissue functions. By identifying changes at the cellular level, PET may detect the early onset of disease before other imaging tests can.

Alongside the launching of the Nuclear Medicine Centre, Penang Adventist Hospital is also launching its Cancer Awareness Campaign, which is designed to run for a year. With the theme, “Close the Gap,” the campaign aims to collaborate with twelve assemblymen as Cancer Awareness Ambassadors. This campaign aims to educate the community about cancer and show ways to prevent or manage the disease. Attendees are urged to acquire as much knowledge they can throughout the campaign.  

To jumpstart the campaign, Penang Adventist Hospital is offering 30 free diagnostic scans to selected patients from March to May. Funding for this campaign will come from the Penang Adventist Hospital Charity Fund.

While Malaysia is yet to open its borders to the international market on April 1, Penang Adventist Hospital will prepare to accept both local and international patients for nuclear medicine treatments. 

Despite the pandemic, Penang Adventist Hospital remained resilient and was able to perform well financially, according to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025.

Penang Adventist Hospital is part of the extensive network of hundreds of hospitals around the world operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to its leaders, PAH aims to provide the highest quality medical service, as well as health education, disease prevention, and lifestyle modification education to the community. 

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.