PETALING JAYA: The Pusat Jantung Hospital Serdang (Serdang Heart Centre) which opened in December 2022 is reportedly facing critical issues as four of its operating theatres are unable to be utilised citing maintenance issues.

According to the report by The Star, the newly-built centre was meant to reduce dependency on Kuala Lumpur’s National Heart Institute.

However, the Sultan Idris Shah Hospital or popularly known as Serdang Hospital, which houses the heart centre, continues to carry out two to three heart surgeries a day at its old building.

It is learnt that Serdang Hospital has only one of its four older operating theatres operational.

Due to this issue, roughly a thousand patients who require heart surgery have been put on a long waiting list for several months due to the infrastructure issues, with only urgent cases being given priority.

Several patients, according to the report, have even asked to be discharged due to frustration as the long wait could put patients in a life-threatening situation.

Furthermore, sources reportedly stated the four operation theatres at the new heart centre were not functioning due to issues such as faulty air conditioning.

“Meanwhile, at the old hospital building, there are four operating theatres. But there have been problems too. Since last week, only one theatre is still in use.

“We were running three operating theatres all this while because one had light and table issues and has been closed for the past two to three years.

“Earlier this year, it was reduced to two due to air conditioning problems. Since last week, we have been running only one operating theatre,” a source was quoted as saying.

The source further stated that a total of eight surgeries can be performed in a day if all operating theatres are functional.

“As for the new building, none of the new operating theatres has been used since the building was completed.

“The patients wait for at least a year for an admission date. Due to the lack of operating theatres, they wait for days or weeks in the ward.

“Many have just lost hope of getting a surgery slot,” the source was quoted as saying.

The Serdang Heart Centre is one of the country’s main cardiology and cardiothoracic centres and receives referrals from all over the country.

The RM546 million new facility began operations in December 2022 and was aimed at speeding up treatment and shortening the waiting period for angiogram treatments.

A senior hospital official told the English daily that the air conditioning in two operating theatres had been repaired as of yesterday and would be functional soon.

“Work to repair the other two is going on as well,” he was quoted as saying.

The official confirmed that four cardiothoracic operating theatres in the main hospital building were affected due to air conditioning problems.

Two out of these are now operational following repair works yesterday.

The source also sad that the operation theatre at the heart centre block has yet to be operational, adding that the contractors are looking into it.

In addition to Serdang Hospital, there are 10 hospitals under the Health Ministry that have cardiology services, including seven which perform cardiothoracic surgeries.