University of Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC) was the brainchild of Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin, who was then the head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, and Professor Datuk Dr Anuar Zaini Md Zain, the director of University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).
It was set up in 1998 as a way to stem the outflow of highly trained surgeons and specialists from UMMC.
In an interview UMSC medical director, Professor Dr Vickneswaran Mathaneswaran said the specialist centre allowed them to put private patients in a separate ward where they are charged accordingly.
According to Prof Vickneswaran, the new specialist centre became highly successful with increased activities that at one point it could no longer share the facilities with UMMC.
This resulted in the construction of its own building in 2007.
Prof Vickneswaran said in the beginning UMSC was sharing the theatres, clinics and lab facilities with UMMC and when the patient load started to increase in the mid-2000s, the building was erected to house the patient services.
From one ward, UMSC expanded to one labour and four general wards and from running two operating theatres every evening at five o'clock, now it runs between six and eight theatres in the evenings and on Saturdays, he said.
Prof Vickneswaran also added that the specialist centre now has more than 250 doctors, super-specialists and sub-specialists.
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(First of a two-part interview)
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