With the World Health Organization predicting cancer cases will double or triple during the next two decades and with developing countries expected to be especially hard-hit, one hospital in Indonesia is getting a head start on the fight.
The Siloam Hospital in Karawaci, Tangerang, will soon possess a cutting-edge tool called the Gamma Knife to aid in cancer treatment.
“We will be the first among Southeast Asian countries to have the most effective tool to treat cancer,” Mochtar Riady, the chief executive and founder of the Lippo Group, which owns Siloam Hospitals, said on Wednesday.
The Jakarta Globe is affiliated with Lippo Group.
“We are going to install this equipment in four months, and the Gamma Knife is an advanced tool to treat brain cancer,” Mochtar said. He added that the sophisticated piece of cancer-fighting equipment came with a steep price tag of $6.5 million.
The Swedish-made Gamma Knife is the world’s most advanced and effective tool to eliminate brain tumors and other neurological tumors, according to Mochtar.
He was speaking while accompanying visiting Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs Goran Hagglund in touring the Mochtar Riady Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Siloam Hospital in Semanggi, South Jakarta.
Hagglund said the Gamma Knife was a success in treating cancer patients in Sweden.
“Now there is stronger demand for health care, and we need to be innovative to find new ways to treat people who are ill,” he said.
Heading a delegation of Swedish health care business representatives, Hagglund said there would be more companies from Sweden coming to invest in health care in Indonesia.
The delegation is on a three-day mission to offer expert knowledge, technology and products to improve the level of health care offered in Indonesia.
“Health care is very important,” Hagglund said. “In Sweden, we have an aging population and the number is likely to rise, and we will come to a situation when they are ill and we need to meet all the health demands.”
New Karolinska University in Sweden is also cooperating with Pelita Harapan University in helping share medical knowledge. Both universities are in the process of establishing a joint teaching hospital in Karawaci.
During the visit, Hagglund also met his Indonesian counterpart, Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, and the two discussed the possibility for further cooperation and exchanges in the health care sector.
Ewa Polano, Sweden’s ambassador to Indonesia, said: “With a very developed health care sector, Sweden has a lot to offer, and especially now since Indonesia has set off to develop the health care sector. It is a great time for Swedish and Indonesian health care representatives to meet and look into closer cooperation and potential mutual gains.”
Hagglund also stopped by the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital (RSCM) in Central Jakarta to present the management with a gift of warmers for premature babies on behalf of the Swedish government.