Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	07/02/90 

 Yang Berhormat Datuk Ng Cheng Kiat, Minister of Health; Dr. Kenneth Chin,
Chairman, Pre Congress Symposia; Distinguished Guests; 

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank the organising committee for giv- ing me the honour
to address this gathering and to officiate the opening of this Eleventh
World Congress of Cardiology Pre-Congress Symposia on Interventional
Cardiology and Echocardiography. I am sure the efforts of the Interna-
tional Society and Federation of Cardiology and the National Heart
Association of Malaysia to hold this Symposia in Kuala Lumpur will be
fruitful. For me I am doubly honoured to meet the specialists in this
cardiac field as I had success- fully undergone a cardiac surgery about a
year ago at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. I was 'saved' by God's will
and treated with tenderness by your fellow Malaysian spe- cialists and
nursing staff. With that sentiment I take this opportunity to bid 'selamat
datang' to all of you especially our foreign guests.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

2. Medical technology has made tremendous advances in the last few
decades. These have contributed greatly towards improving the health
status of the society at large. Ad- vances in our diagnostic and
therapeutic capabilities, through new technologies such as lithotriptors,
CT scanners, ultrasound and lasers amongst others, have been truly im-
pressive and have captured the imagination of our public.

3. Simultaneously, advances in cardiology have resulted in the development
of non invasive procedures like echocardiography and recently the addition
of newer modalities in echocardiography with doppler techniques and colour
doppler have improved further our diagnostic capabil- ities. There has
also been new invasive interventional pro- cedures like angioplasty and
valvuloplasty which increases our capabilities in providing
treatment. These advances in cardiology are surely very much welcomed by
all. What more heart diseases have been a major cause of death and
disabil- ity in developed countries and increasingly becoming one of the
leading causes of death in developing countries.

4. It is therefore timely and appropriate to hold this Pre World Congress
Symposia on Interventional Cardiology and Echocardiography. I hope this
Symposis, attended by inter- nationally acclaimed experts in the relevant
fields, will successfully discuss current concepts, current indications
and future directions in the various fields of cardiology which will be of
great benefit to mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

5. The Malaysian Government is sparing no effort in spreading the
knowledge on heart diseases among its populace. At the same time the
Government itself is contin- uously developing facilities and services to
heart patients in this country. The Kuala Lumpur General Hospital provides
consultative cardiology and cardiothoracic services, invasive and non
invasive procedures and heart surgery.

Similar services are also available at the University of Malaya Hospital.

6. Resulting from economic and social development experi- enced by our
country, more and more Malaysians are able to pay for their medical
needs. Consequently the growth of private medical facilities in cardiology
and cardiothoracic services is very encouraging. The great demand for
these services has resulted in the setting up of 3 private hospi- tals
providing such services.

7. The Malaysian Ministry of Health is aware of the in- creasing needs and
greater expectation of the public for specialist care in cardiology. To
respond to this need, the Government is improving our capability by
training physi- cians and paediatricians in cardiology so as to provide
sim- ilar services outside Kuala Lumpur. At present, other than at the
Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, comprehensive non invasive services in
cardiology are also provided at 3 state capitals in this country -- the
Queen Elizebeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching General Hospital and
the Kuala Terengganu General Hospital.

8. It is encouraging to note that more and more Malaysians, including
VIPs, are having greater confidence in the capability of our cardiac
specialists. If most of the surguries were performed overseas as recent as
two to three years ago, it is just the opposite now. The confidence of
course is welcomed for the sake of medical development in
Malaysia. However this can mean an increase of cases to be handled by our
medical officers and to some extent shortage of facilities. Hence, the
government is determined to train more medical officers in this field and
to increase the ex- isting facilities.

9. In line with this determination, the Malaysian Govern- ment is building
in Kuala Lumpur a new cardiothoracic centre of international standard
equipped with the most modern equipments and staffed by the relevant
specialists. This centre will be the national referral centre providing
cardiology and cardiothoracic surgical services. It will provide training
facilities for doctors and para-medics in the field of cardiology and
cardiothoracic surgery. Besides playing an active role in health education
in order to edu- cate the public in the prevention of cardiac diseases, it
will also involve itself in cardiac rehabilitation programme. I would
consider this as a major development in cardiology and cardiothoracic
services in Malaysia.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

10. In our efforts to increase our capabilities in diagno- sis and
treatment, we must also give more attention to the preventive aspects of
cardiovascular diseases. It should not be forgotten that prevention is
important and concerted efforts should be made to prevent heart
diseases. A number of risk factors have been identified as contributing to
the development of cardiovascular diseases. These include high blood
pressure, high level of cholesterol in the blood, smoking, obesity and
lack of exercise.

11. In Malaysia, a recent national and health morbidity sur- vey showed
that 14% of the adult population had hypertension. The same study showed
that 40% of men were smokers, and 36% of them were heavy smokers. Other
studies have shown that cholesterol level is high among Malaysians
especially among executives.

12. The successful control of cardiovascular diseases re- quires an
integrated approach involving a number of govern- ment ministries and
agencies. The Ministry of Health alone cannot carry out the primary
prevention programme to de- crease the whole range of risk factors. In
this strategy, medical leadership is important but the task is beyond the
medical profession alone. It is therefore important for other relevant
government agencies to cooperate with the Ministry of Health in the
efforts towards prevention of cardiovascular diseases. It should be
reminded that one of the messages from the World Health Organisation is
that in- dividuals should take personal responsibility for their own
health, and this includes preventive aspects of cardiovascular diseases.

13. The Malaysian Government is planning to start a programme to reduce
morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular and related diseases. Three
major strategies have been identified. The first strategy is through the
community approach where the community is encouraged to adopt healthy life
styles. This will result in the general reduction of the various risk
factors. The second strategy is through the high risk approach where high
risk individ- uals would be identified through various screening mech-
anisms. This would enable early detection and proper management of such
groups. The third strategy is through the secondary or preventive approach
whereby those who are known to be suffering from heart diseases would be
treated, counselled and rehabilitated so that morbidity and mortality can
be minimised. Early detection of cardiovascular prob- lems in childhood
and adulthood are also being undertaken.

Ladies and gentlemen, 

14. This year is Visit Malaysia Year and I would like to welcome all
guests to our beautiful country. I hope inspite of your busy schedule you
will still find time to see some of the interesting places in the country.

15. Once again I thank the organising committee for invit- ing me to
officiate the opening of this Symposia. And now I declare open the "IX
World Congress of Cardiology Pre- Congress Symposia on Interventional
Cardiology and Echocardiography".