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UIAM's Medical Campus To Enhance Medical Services In East Coast

Last update: 24/06/2010
By Soraya Jamal

KUANTAN, June 24 (Bernama) -- The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)'s new campus in Bandar Indera Mahkota in Pahang is expected to enhance medical services for the east coast region.

The campus located about 10-km from Kuantan town houses the medical-science, pharmacy, allied health sciences, nursing and dentistry faculties and is equipped with state of the art facilities.

IIUM's campus in Pahang started with the opening of the medical faculty in Jalan Hospital in 1997. In 2004, a new medical faculty building based on the Islamic and Moorish architecture was opened on a 400 hectare site in Bandar Indera Mahkota.

The campus' director Professor Datuk Dr Kamaruzzaman Wan Su noted that the medical faculty has its own IIUM Medical Specialist Centre (IMSC), a breast centre, and the IIUM Clinical Consultancy Daycare Centre (ICDC) that houses the eye and audiology clinic.

A COMPLETE CAMPUS

The medical faculty also boasts for the first fertility clinic in the east coast. The fertility centre was opened last year and so far has handled more than 120 cases.

The centre has two consultants, two embryologists, a specialised nurse, and trained counselors. The fertility centre witnessed the first birth on last Feb 14 and 13 pregnancies in 2009. As of April, seven babies were born.

"We want to have our lab as a centre for East Coast area. To maintain a lab is very expensive. Just to train an embryologist it takes at least two years. We receive requests from other hospitals to help train theirs. We would probably accept training - it would be cheaper than sending people overseas," its director Dr Roszaman Ramli told Bernama.

This fertility centre is open to the public and offers treatment at competitive rates.

MEDICAL FACULTY

The medical faculty that saw the first intake in 2001 currently has 170 teaching staff and so far has produced over 600 doctors.

The faculty is set to have its own 800-bed teaching hospital and the construction is set to start next year through private funding initiative.

Currently, UIAM students undergo the clinical part of their course at public hospitals in Kuantan and Temerloh.

"For a young faculty, we are strong in research and already produced three patents," said the Dean of the Medical Faculty Professor Dr Mohammed Fauzi Abdul Rani.

"What makes us different is the Islamic input in medical science. Students are also equipped with communication skills, ethics of Muslim physicians and learn how to organise clinics including finance and staff. They also have to undergo a compulsory two months posting in any hospitals or NGOs of their choice," he added.

DENTAL FACULTY

Meanwhile, the dental faculty is set to move into its new premise at the campus valued at about RM130 million.

The smart building is equipped with specialist clinics, student polyclinics, outpatient clinics, operating theaters and emergency clinics.

"We're new so we can invest in the latest state-of-the-art facilities," said the dean of the dental faculty Major (Rtd) Dr Akhbar Sham Hussin.

The dental clinic has 60 dental chairs each valued at RM100,000. When we move into the new building, the number of the dental chairs will be increased to 189.

The learning lab is also equipped with dental work station complete with flat screen monitors to enable video conferencing between the lecturers and undergraduates.

The dental faculty only takes in 50 undergraduates annually and the number is small due to the high cost involved in churning out dental graduates.

Third year students will start their practical lessons at the dental clinic especially on the basic procedures like extracting and scaling the teeth.

All the procedures carried out by the undergraduates will be closely monitored through intra oral digital cameras.

The dental clinic is currently well patronised by the people living around Kuantan and the nearby Felda schemes and the treatment is free.

"I don't think it's a poor treatment. In fact it is probably better because it is closely monitored. Only that it may take a bit longer because the students are supervised by the lecturers," said Dr Akhbar.

Dr Akhbar added that a mobile dental clinic would be added to enable the students to go out and provide services to the rural community.

OTHER SCIENCE COURSES

About 40 per cent of the campus area in Bandar Indera Mahkota has been developed and at present it houses 4,000 undergraduates, academic and administration staff. The campus population is expected to double when fully developed the next five years.

IIUM's Pahang campus will also have an agricultural faculty in Temerloh next year.

Apart from that, the first phase of the Institute of Oceanographic and Maritime (Inocem) in Paloh will be ready this August.

-- BERNAMA