Private Healthcare in Malaysia

"The medical and dental services offered by healthcare facilities in Malaysia are on par with those in fully developed nations.

They cost considerably less than similar ones in neighbouring countries and are a mere fraction of the prices charged in the West.

Malaysian doctors and specialists are highly qualified, having received their training at overseas medical schools in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, United States and many others as well as in local universities.

All private healthcare facilities in Malaysia are required to be licensed under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Regulations 2006.

Many of the private hospitals are accredited by either a National or International Accreditation Bodies, recognised by the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). Examples are the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) Standards; Joint Commission International (JCI) Hospital Accreditation Standards; and other International Accreditation Body/Bodies.

Thus, patients are assured of optimum quality and safety".

Source: Above are reproduced from the Malaysia Health Travel Council (MHTC). MHTC was established under the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), bringing together the nation's dual heritage of hospitality and medical innovation, highlighting Malaysia as the preferred healthcare travel destination in the Asian region. As an initiative under the MOH, its ultimate purpose is to promote and position Malaysia as a unique destination for world-class healthcare services.  

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Medical Tourism - Targetting

Malaysia is targeting patients from both developed and less developed countries in the medical tourism sector by embarking on good facilities and competitive rates compared to other parts of the world.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Indonesia remained as the biggest market due to its proximity and accessibility. "We are also targeting Middle Eastern countries and Bangladesh also as the Ministry itself is allocating RM25 million in promoting medical tourism, " he told reporters here after addressing the 31st Annual Dinner and Installation Night of the Malaysian Medical Association Melaka Branch at a leading hotel here last night.
He said medical tourism benefited the government in terms of foreign direct investments and also spin-off effects in the hotel and shopping sector.
According to International Medical Travel Journal News, medical tourism receipts in Malaysia from foreign patients totalled RM509.77 million in 2011 involving 578,403 patients.
Dr Subramaniam said medical tourism was growing fast with Singapore and Thailand the biggest players in the region besides Malaysia.
Source: sinchew 29-09-2013

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Obesity on the rise: Malaysia

More and more Malaysians are obese nowadays and, worse, many of them are children.

Disclosing this at a meeting here, Johor Health Department director Dr Mohd Khairy Yaakub said this was due to dietary patterns that have steadily evolved as a result of socio-economic change.

“Families, nowadays, eat on-the-go and the average time devoted to meal preparation has declined as a result of busy lifestyles,” he said, adding that such problems were also evident in other countries as well and have become a global challenge.

Quoting a National Health and Morbidity Survey, Dr Mohd Khairy said the number of Malaysian adults with diabetes has also increased from 14.9% in 2006 to 15.2% in 2011.

The survey also showed there was a rise in those suffering from hypercholesterolemia (presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood), from 20.6% to 35.1%.

There was also an increase in the prevalence of obesity in the same period, from 14% to 15.1% .

“What is more worrying is that cases of people being overweight is increasing, especially schoolchildren,” he said.

Dr Mohd Khairy said the rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes, obesity and hypercholesterolemia is worrying. “Every Malaysian should be motivated to embrace the concept of positive living by changing their mindset, attitude and behaviour. We need to exercise regularly, have a balanced diet and avoid smoking.”
Source: theSTAR 24-09-2013

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High Profile?

Very familiar remark of CEOs ... "I want to grow and expand my business aggressively but I am a private person. I do not want to have high visibility."

It always puzzle me when I hear this statement. To grow a business aggressively, you do need to be active and build your network and profile. You need to be with the right crowd and environment. 

An ambitious CEO needs to be able to exude confidence and mastery of his business. He exudes a flair for business, connectivity and public relationship. He surrounds himself with skill and knowledgeable staff and advisors. He is courageous to take calculated risks and challenges. He is not afraid to fail ...
If the CEO intends to embark on an ambitious project like having a public IPO, the bar is raised. The CEO has to trade-off some of his private time and freedom as he markets himself.

To create interest in his IPO, he has to "rebrand" himself and his Company. This takes deliberate conscious effort, time and money ... The public and private investors are realistic and demanding. They need to know who is leading the Company, the prospect and sustainability of the business and Company ... thus, rebranding and re-profiling is a prerequisite to accelerate and propel growth to the next level! He will definitely be on a trajectory course of "high profile" and thus visibility.

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Tap into Health Tourism

Healthcare service providers should tap into the growing health tourism sector in an effort to turn the nation into a regional healthcare hub, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

This, he said, could be achieved by healthcare service providers here entering into cross-border collaborations with their international counterparts.

“I urge healthcare service providers to leave no stone unturned in pursuing this potential.
“Becoming a regional healthcare hub ultimately creates more job opportunities and wealth, which benefits the economy and country as a whole,” he said at the launch of the ParkCity Medical Centre here yesterday, which also saw the unveiling of the Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare (RSDHC) logo.

Efforts to spur development of the health tourism sector via the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) had shown positive results, said Najib.

“Over the past three years, Malaysia has seen more than 20% growth in health tourism, and generated almost RM600mil in revenue last year,” he said. 

The positive growth, said Najib, was due to MHTC’s role in providing the technological platform for web-based medical and health-related information to a global audience.

“Among the countries fast becoming interested in Malaysia’s medical tourism industry is Japan, which has registered 20% growth,” he said, adding that the Japanese coming here were those under the Malaysia My Second Home programme or via word of mouth from friends and relatives.

The development of health tourism, Najib pointed out, would also help reverse the international brain drain of medical professionals.

Earlier in his speech, Ramsay Health Care Ltd chairman Paul Ramsay said Asean’s collective population of 600 million offered vast opportunities in the healthcare industry. He said the joint venture would see RSDHC tying up three of Sime Darby’s hospitals here with three of Ramsay’s hospitals in Indonesia.
Source: theSTAR 18-09-2013

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GDI: Malaysia second most dynamic in Asean

The Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index (GDI) 2013 has ranked Malaysia as Asean’s second most dynamic country after Singapore.

Now in its second year, the GDI ranks 60 of the largest economies in the world on their dynamism, drawing on both economic and business survey data.

It scores each economy across five key areas of dynamism – business operating environment, economics and growth, science and technology, labour and human capital, and financing environment – producing an overall score.

Singapore had a score of 61.9, the highest in Asean, followed by Malaysia with 59.5 and Thailand with 56.4

Malaysia ranked second best in key areas such as business operating environment (74) and financing environment (60) in Asean for growing businesses.

SJ Grant Thornton managing partner Datuk N.K. Jasani said: “Malaysia is ranked 13th globally by the GDI, a major improvement of 11 places from the year before.

“Our country also provides a good financing environment, as we scored the highest in Asean for access to medium-term capital (85).”

In comparison with other countries globally, Malaysia is performing strongly in key areas such as economics and growth, ranking eighth (73), labour and human capital, ranking 11th (62) and financing environment, ranking 16th (60).

“We have climbed to the eighth ranking in economics and growth, boosted by higher gross domestic product (GDP) and consumption growth. Our real GDP growth is ranked ninth in the world (84)” he said.
Source: the STAR 16-09-2013


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Malaysia Healthcare - Affordable

Healthcare in Malaysia is still cheaper than in other countries despite rising costs, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

“The increase in healthcare cost is a global phenomenon and comparatively, Malaysia’s is still cheaper and this is why patients from other countries are seeking treatment here,” he said.

“Many things are beyond our control and the cost of healthcare will continue to rise for reasons like the cost of production and the use of more sophisticated technology,” Subramaniam added.

“If we want the latest technology, we have to pay for it,” he said after launching the Chennai Silk Palace saree store in Penang Street here yesterday.

However, Dr Subramaniam said the majority of Malaysians received subsidised healthcare with government hospitals treating about two million patients a year.

In response to his deputy Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya’s call for “special treatment” in the coming Budget due to the increase in administrative cost of health services, he said the ministry had always asked for more but so did other ministries.

“Normally, we receive about 7% to 10% increase each year. Maybe it will be about the same for next year’s Budget,” Subramaniam said.

“The ministry received RM22bil this year of which 60% went to the 230,000 workers’ salaries,” he said. “And the bill for medicine was about RM7bil.”
Source: theSTAR 16-09-2013

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Start Young ...

I met a friend some days back. He likes to own luxury cars and he would not hesitate to spend "top dollars" if there is a car that he desires to possess. As he does not have enough car parks for his cars, he would park along the public road along his house. If the cars get too many or he get bored with his cars, he will sell one or two off. He would get another "nice" car that comes along later. He enjoys it. He said "this is my only hobby. I deserve this."

He has his own business and is married with 2 children. One is in his final year of tertiary education and the other is embarking along the same path in a few years' time. His wife is also gainfully employed.

Why do I share about him? The reason being, he is in his mid-40's and financially secure, not of the banker's valuation of "high net worth individual". He is just everybody's "next door neighbour". He enjoys his life and his "financial freedom" at this age. From my conversation with him, I am impressed with his vision and planning early in life.

Early in his life, he envisions "owning" luxurious cars. He also realised that he has to be financially sound as, in marketing term, he falls under the "middle-class" category, and thus needs to plan well ahead in order to enjoy his taste for luxurious cars as soon as he is able to. He is also concern about "having a roof" over his head for the family. Education for the 2 children, up to tertiary education, must be provided for.

To cut the story "short'. He quickly purchased his own house, in his earlier days, and then he multiplied his money through purchasing and selling of other properties. When he made his first million, he "locked it in" for his son. Through the purchase and sales of more properties, over a period of time, he locked in another million for his second child. He is still multiplying his wealth in this manner.

Well, a lot of people multiply their money in this manner during the boom time. However, this friend multiplied during "good and bad times". He has sharp acumen and able to identify good assets. Most of the time, he manages to buy "low" and sell "high'. He has the knack for this. He is really blessed. He is also bold and decisive. His modus-operandi is, he does not hold any property for too long. He quickly multiplies, without being greedy, when his targeted profit is being met.

Thus with his children's educational funds "locked in", he is now earning all the money for himself. He now freely enjoys his hobby of owning luxury cars. I believe, he is also very healthily growing his bank accounts at the same time. Would you not want to be in his shoes? If so, plan wisely and early ... if need to, do consult a professional financial planner.

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Hospital Engineering Services - Hugh Potential

There is a huge potential for the development of hospital engineering services in Malaysia's healthcare industry as the number of hospitals and clinics here is growing fast.

The Biomedical Engineering Association of Malaysia (BEAM) president Tauran Zaidi Ahmad Zaidi said professionals and engineers that are directly or indirectly involved in the service are also increasing. He said every healthcare centre needs competent facility managers or professionals who can manage the engineering services.

"Malaysia still needs to develop its hospital engineering services to cater to the growth of the local healthcare industry. Hospital engineering is a significant backbone of the industry," said Tauran Zaidi at press conference here yesterday, in conjunction with the inaugural Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013 that starts today.

Hospital engineering covers a wide aspect of the healthcare industry, including the designing, maintenance and operation of hospitals.

"The industry (healthcare engineering) is not only about buildings, electrical and maintenance but also includes the production and export of medical equipment," said Tauran Zaidi.

The Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013, which is organised by BEAM, aims to bring worldwide industry experts together to exchange information and ideas on the industry's latest development and technology.

Source: Business Times, 12-09-2013

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Malaysian Banks are Solid

Malaysian banks are solid, as they are not involved in risky financial instruments such as derivaties by US banks, said investment guru Dr Marc Faber (pic).

Faber, the publisher of the widely-read Gloom, Boom & Doom report, said that despite Fitch Ratings’ recent negative outlook on Malaysia, the country was relatively well compared to other emerging countries.

Given the choice of between US and Malaysian equities, Faber expressed more interest towards the latter. “Malaysian equities are not exciting. However, they are relatively stable, supported by a well-balanced economy coupled with no major downward risks,” he said.

Malaysia’s financial condition, said Faber, was one of the strongest in the world today due to the prudent management of its financial system.

Faber said that in Malaysia, he owned shares in some companies in the consumer sector as well as the banking sector, such as Public Bank Bhd and Malayan Banking Bhd.

He said stocks in the consumer sector were inexpensive a few years ago and were now fully priced, with limited upside. “While they are not going to explode, they can still grow in the long term, parallel to the country’s economy,” he said.

On Malaysia’s downward revision in its growth projection of between 4% and 5%, he said people should bear in mind that this was growth in a world where most countries, like European countries, were not growing at all. – Bernama
Source: theSTAR 11-09-2013

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Disgruntled Employee -"Bad-mouthing"?

A topic on "How do you ensure that a disgruntled employee does not "bad-mouth" the Company when he leaves." Hmm ... at one time or another Companies do face such a challenge.

Some would response with "It's ok. No big deal." Some may say "What can he do. Let it be" ... some may say "If he dares, I'll sue him!" ... I have also seen Companies purchasing media spaces to make known "that Mr A had left the Company and is not authorised to transact any business on its behalf ..."

What would you do if you are the CEO of the Company? In the unfortunate event that you have such a disgruntled employee and the possible damage that he could do is real enough, I would recommend  the following viz 1) your HR personnel to manage his departure professionally 2) In addition to the HR's effort, you should invite him personally for an exit interview thanking him for his time with the Company and wishing him the best as he departs. You should also listen sympathetically to him about his grouses, his unhappiness and disappointments in the Company, if any. However, you should not make any comment 3) You should also ensure that he is given all his departure monetary entitlements and benefits as per statutory requirement 4) if he is senior enough in the Company, you should have a small and informal farewell party for him within his department.

What is the objective of all these gestures? To send the message to the other employees that the Company values and appreciates all employees. It does not harbour any malice for any employee who leaves. This will also encourage and motivate the staying employees to continue to contribute to the Company. Secondly, by treating the disgruntled employee in such "respectable and nice"manner he will feel very burdened and ashamed should he want to "bad-mouth" the Company later. My take is that, he would not "bad-mouth" after all that you had done for him during the exit process. I believe every human being has a conscience that will govern a man's attitude, thinking and behaviour.

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Malaysia: Ranked 24th in latest GCR Report

Malaysia moved up one rung to be ranked 24th in this year’s World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (GCR), scoring high for its stable financial market and efficient market for goods and services.

The Geneva-based body noted that in a region plagued by corruption and red tape, Malaysia stands out as “one of the very few countries” that have been relatively successful at tackling these two issues, as part of its economic and government transformation programmes.

But the latest competitiveness ranking showed that Malaysia continues to lag behind Singapore, which retained its position as the second most competitive country out of 148 surveyed. Switzerland was ranked the world’s most competitive country. Rounding up the top 10 after Singapore are Finland, Germany, United States, Sweden, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The country’s efficient and competitive market for goods and services was ranked 10th, its well developed and sound financial market came in 6th and business-friendly institutional framework was at 29th. The report noted that the country ranks an “impressive” 8th for the burden of government regulation and a “satisfactory” 33rd in the ethics and corruption component of the Index, although there is room for improvement.

Malaysia’s transport infrastructure was ranked 15th for its quality, which GCR noted as a “remarkable feat in this part of the world, where insufficient infrastructure and poor connectivity are major obstacles to development for many countries”. The country’s private sector, which was ranked 20th, was deemed to be “highly sophisticated” and “fairly innovative”.

“All this bodes well for a country that aims to become a high-income, knowledge-based economy by the end of the decade,” it said.

However, it noted that the country still has room for improvements, singling out the government’s deficit budget at 4.3% of the GDP in 2012, low female participation in the workforce and comparatively low technological readiness as two of its major competitive weaknesses.

Source: Malaysia Insider, September 04, 2013 04:17 pm

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Project Management

Most of the time expectations do not meet up with reality if clarity is an issue coupled with inadequate resources to lead and guide the Team through agreed Project Plan.

I have always advised Company to have follow through Action Plan to ensure implementation of Project. Much resources, effort, time and money would have normally been expended, not by one or two, but by many individuals with various cross functional skills and knowledge within the organisation to work out an agreed Project.

Theoretically, it would be fair to expect that the outcome of the execution will be according to the Project Plan. Thus the Team would have to understand what are the Critical Success Factors for implementation, who needs to be engaged to execute, what are the key steps needed to execute ...

However, from experience, unless there is a Project Leader to lead and monitor the progress, and work together as a Team, in a regular and timely manner, to ensure adherence, with minimal deviation from the Plan, the end point will most likely be disaster.

Further, the Project Team leader must be someone who has the seniority, authority, skills, knowledge and respect of the team members. There must be an in-built empowerment for the Team to move forward and with defined milestones and time frames leading to the completion of the Project.

The Project Team should also have a Project Advisor/Patron, who normally is a Director or Senior Manager of the Company, acting as a "Big Brother", who provides resources, determination and "guiding light" to ensure the completion and success of the Project.

Thus, with proper planning and guidance, especially for multi disciplinary complex Project, proper execution of Plan is important to ensure timely achievement of plan.

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