IMTJ Medical Travel Awards, 2014

The very best in the medical tourism sector have been celebrating following the announcement of the winners in the inaugural IMTJ Medical Travel Awards.

The awards celebrate improvement, innovation and excellence in the medical travel, medical tourism and health tourism industry. Unlike previous awards in the sector, the IMTJ awards have been judged by an independent panel of medical travel experts, chaired by IMTJ Managing Editor, Keith Pollard.

The awards were presented on 5th March 2014 by Keith Pollard at a high profile reception in Dubai during the International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC), which brings together the pre-eminent providers and experts in medical travel and medical tourism.

2014 winners: 
  • Destination of the year: Jordan
  • International hospital of the year: Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Specialist international patient centre of the year: HCA International, UK 
  • International dental clinic of the year: Imperial Dental Specialist Centre, Malaysia
  • Best marketing initiative:  UPMC, USA
  • Excellence in customer service: Apollo Health City, India 
  • Medical travel agency of the year: Pathway International, Kenya
  • International infertility clinic of the year: Prince Court Medical Centre, Malaysia 
  • Best medical travel web site: Specialist Dental Group, Singapore 
  • Sanjiv Malik Lifetime Award (Individual): Curtis Schroeder 

Chairman of the judging panel and Managing Editor of IMTJ Keith Pollard says the awards celebrate the best providers in the industry and aim to encourage others to strive to match them:

“Medical travel is an exciting and growing global industry, with many providers delivering excellence in both medical care and customer service. The IMTJ Medical Travel Awards are the first independent awards to recognise those who are the best of the best and hopefully to encourage others to emulate them. The judges wanted to reward innovation and excellence, highlight best practice and celebrate those who are leading the way in the industry and delivering successful outcomes for patients.”

“All our winners exemplify the way the medical tourism industry should be run – professional, offering exceptional patient care and providing the best possible medical outcomes. I’m already looking forward to next year’s awards in the hope that other clinics and companies will have raised their game to match or even better this year’s winners.”

Source: MHTCeBulletin #20

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Medical packaging opens room for promising growth: MDC Sdn Bhd

Medical Devices Corporation (MDC) Sdn Bhd, founded in 2007, manufactures flexible pharmaceutical packaging bags used in intravenous therapy of various sizes between 50ml to 6 litres.

These 50ml to 1 litre bags are used to hold saline for IV drips. The three litre bags are used for irrigation (washing activities during surgical operations) while peritoneal dialysis bags come in two, five and six litre capacities.

Among the company’s other products are metabolic solution bags that come in 350ml, 500ml and 1 litre capacities. The 500ml bags are often used to provide drips that contain calcium for cows that have just given birth.

“When the demand for calcium for milk production exceeds their bodies’ ability to mobilise calcium reserves, cows can develop ‘milk fever’, hence the need for calcium drips. We export about 500,000 bags a year to Australia,” said Loke Khing Hong, director of Medical Devices Corporation Sdn Bhd.

Locally, the company provides 300,000 to 500,000 bags a year to a local manufacturer of various medical solutions.

Starting with just two employees, the company now has 10 — an engineer, production manager, quality inspector and production operators. Workers handle two printing and cutting machines and two radio frequency welding machines in a semi-automated manufacturing environment located in a 6,000sqft light industrial factory. The company imports the medical-grade polyvinyl chloride film and tubes used to manufacture the bags in a “100k clean room”.

The company’s production machinery can be configured to manufacture 1.2 million bags of various sizes a year, with a total defect rate of less than 0.5% . Recently, the company secured a Bank loan to purchase another machine that can produce an additional five to six million bags a year to boost its production capability.

Moving forward, the company will move from being a pharmaceutical packaging manufacturer to become a contract manufacturing hub for both medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

“We are developing a dialysis product for use in the continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis treatment, an alternative kidney therapy which was highlighted in the Malaysian Budget 2014 and recently promoted by the Health Ministry,” he said. The Company also plans to produce peritoneal dialysis fluid in the future.

Apart from that, the company is currently involved in the manufacturing of various bags for an automated wearable artificial kidney project led by a US company that has a presence in Singapore.

“This automated wearable artificial kidney will be introduced in the market by 2017 after registration with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is complete,” he said.

The company is also working with a group of Canadian kidney specialists to develop a new dialysis solution for FDA registration. Under the collaboration, the company will have the marketing rights for ASEAN by 2016 to introduce the dialysis solution and other technology.

Apart from that, Loke said as the company increases its production capability, they will also venture into manufacturing blood bags. These bags are used for the storage of whole blood (which is the unprocessed blood combined with an anticoagulant during the collection process).



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Malaysia: Brief Background on Health Status and Pharmaceutical Context

Total Population
Average growth (%) pa
% of population living in urban areas

Life Expectancy (years) - Male

Life Expectancy (years) - Female

Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births)

Maternal mortality rate (per 100,000 live births)

Total number of prescribers (Doctors only)
Total number of pharmacists (registered)
Total number of pharmacy technicians-MOH only
Total number of drug manufacturing units
(poisons & OTC only - excluding traditional products)

Total number of wholesalers (poisons & OTC only
- excluding traditional products)

Total number of pharmacies and drug outlets in 
the public sector (including health facilities and
 hospitals that dispense drugs)

Total number of pharmacies and drug outlets in 
the private sector (retail pharmacy + retail 
& w/sale pharmacy)

Total number of private pharmacies and drug outlets in 
the three major urban areas (Penang, Selangor, WP KL
- private pharmacies only

Total number of registered drugs (in dosage
forms and strengths)

Total number of drugs in the National 
Essential Drugs List (in INN)

Healthcare Providers
Number of facilities, 2011
Number of facilities, 2012
Government Hospitals
140 (38,978 beds)
Government Health Clinics

1Malaysia Clinics

Private Hospitals
209 (13,667 beds)
Private Medical Clinics
Private Dental Clinics
Community Pharmacies


[Malaysian National Medicines Policy (MNMP) - First Term Performance Report (2007-2011)] - First Print: December 2013

[2012 Statistics is extracted from "Health Facts 2013". Published by Ministry of Health Malaysia,
 Health Informatics Centre, Planning Division,MOH/S/RAN/53.13(TR)] July 2013

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Adventa: To venture into Renal dialysis

Adventa Bhd expects to double revenue for the financial year ending Oct 31, 2015 (FY15) with the launch of a new business segment – the home renal dialysis business.

Its CEO Low Chin Guan told SunBiz the group is launching its dialysis business in the third quarter of FY14, which will be its main focus this year.

Adventa is involved in the distribution of hospital supplies through subsidiary Sun Healthcare Sdn Bhd, sterilisation of medical devices via Electron Beam Sdn Bhd and home renal dialysis services through Lucenxia (M) Sdn Bhd. Currently, about 60% of the group's revenue comes from Sun Healthcare, while its sterilisation business contributes the remainder.

a"What is interesting is our new dialysis business will be the flagship business of the group. In FY15, it (dialysis) should already be the (main) contributor, as the business has big potential in the country and in the region, " Low said. "We are starting in Malaysia first for the next two years, then moving on to regional countries like Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam," he added, explaining that the group has a presence in these countries via its sterilisation business.

Low said the scope for Lucenxia locally and regionally is immense, considering its first mover advantage. It is understood that in Malaysia alone, there are 30,000 individuals who need dialysis daily and the process is done in dialysis centres or hospitals. Each patient spends between RM30,000 and RM40,000 a year.

"The dialysis business, together with consumables, is close to RM900 million a year. If we are able to roll out our programme correctly, we would be able to get a significant part of (the business)," Low said.

Adventa plans to introduce a cost-effective and comprehensive dialysis package to the public and private sectors where equipment, supplies, nursing care and outcome monitoring are all packaged into one. Low said such programmes will cost about the same as what each patient spends yearly (RM30,000 to RM40,000), minus additional costs such as travelling expenses.

Bernama: 24-02-2014
Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.


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Hike in Private Practitioners' fees: 14.4%

Malaysians will have to pay more to visit private practitioners from 6th March 2014 under a 14.4% across-the-board hike.

The minimum consultation fee will increase from RM10 to RM11.40 and the maximum from RM35 to RM40.05. However, doctors are free to charge any amount they wish, even billing below the RM10, as long as they do not exceed the ceiling rate. Specialists will also be able to charge higher rates under the approved fee schedule.

It is understood that the ministry may review the fee schedule after April 1 next year when the GST comes into force. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the hike is the first in 12 years as the last revision was in 2002.

"This decision was made after consulting various ministries and stakeholders, and the fee revision was approved by the Cabinet on Oct 12, 2012," he said today, adding that it was done under an amendment to the 13th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (Private Hospitals and Other Private Healthcare Facilities) Regulations 2006.

Speaking to reporters after a post-Cabinet meeting, he said that the ministry felt the increase is appropriate as healthcare costs had escalated over the years.

Dr Subramaniam said the country's healthcare is more affordable than its counterpart in the region and with the overall safety, political stability, hospitality and attractive packages reinforced to make Malaysia a medical hub in the region.

He also pointed out that the market forces are expected to ultimately determine the fees.

Patients can request for itemised bill if from private practitioners if they want to know how much they have been charged for consultation and procedures.
theSUN 06-02-2014

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Owning an asset in Singapore?

If you have limited resources and have to make a decision whether to purchase a house or investing in a new business venture, how do you come to a decision especially when the price of the house, which is deemed very high previously is now affordable and within  reach.

There is also a high possibility of healthy capital appreciation within 2 - 3 years in capital gain, a strengthened currency and handsome return from 'house rental" should there be a need to rent out the property.

In this instance, when I was in Singapore recently, I was told that house price in Singapore whether
landed, non-landed, private or public - across the board, prices of all properties seemed to have taken a hit with prices dipping, some sectors more than the others.

The trend points to a possible slowdown in the market due to governmental curbs and the increased number of new property launches over the past 2 years, the tighter loan restrictions such as shorter loan periods, lower debt-to-income limits and higher stamp duties. 

So the question is whether it might be an opportunity for Malaysians or any foreigners who are financially sound to take advantage of the market now? For those who do not own any asset in Singapore, it may be a "good timing" to own one in Singapore.

There are 3 good reasons, maybe more, why it should be seriously considered viz: 1) Property prices will definitely rise again once the public and investors "recovered" from the Government's policy in curbing the spiralling property prices 2) capital appreciation over the next few years 3) for Malaysians, the likely appreciation of the SGD against the MYR. Obviously the caveat to this "rosy" picture  is a peaceful society, stable Government and economy in Singapore.

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