By MARK RAO / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Institut Jantung Negara Holdings Sdn Bhd (IJN) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) to establish a heart centre in Johor Baru as demand grows for cardiac care.
The proposed facility will be located in Taman Perling, Johor, where PNB Commercial Sdn Bhd, a unit of PNB, is developing a mixed township.
IJN CEO Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub said the new hospital, the first venture outside Kuala Lumpur, is part of the strategy to improve its business as well as increase its services to a new network of patients.
“It is time we step outside Kuala Lumpur to make our services more accessible to other parts of the country, convenient for the Malaysian population at large,” Dr Mohd Azhari said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“We also hope to facilitate the medical tourism industry in the southern area.”
He said the centre, which is expected to be completed in four years, has a catchment potential of 20 million to 30 million patients including patients from Singapore and Batam, Indonesia.
The Johor Baru centre will provide both cardiac services and an integrated disease management centre for non-curable diseases, including renal, diabetes, hypertension, geriatric and neurology services.
Dr Mohd Azhari said non-communicable diseases are on the rise in the country, with one in three Malaysians, or 6.1 million people suffering from hypertension in 2015.
He added that a further 3.5 million Malaysians, or 17% of the adult population, are living with diabetes.
“Through our collaboration with PNB, we can tap on each other’s strengths to better develop our healthcare industry and speed up our journey towards our goal of raising the standards of healthcare services in the country,” he said.
He added that IJN also plans to expand into other states and is presently surveying opportunities and holding talks with several parties.
However, he declined to disclose further details until more concrete arrangements have been made.
Meanwhile, PNB president and group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said the establishment of new centre is timely, as the demand for healthcare services and cardiac care is rising in tandem with the country’s growing population.
“The cardiac centre will be able to tap into the fast-growing market of private medical tourism, growing customers from within Johor as well as neighbouring Singapore and other regions in the vicinity,” Abdul Rahman said.
Located 20 minutes from the Johor Baru city centre and served by the Second Link Expressway, Taman Perling’s strategic location is expected to serve IJN well in its effort to expand its reach to a larger customer base.
The MoU will be followed by a feasibility study which is scheduled for completion in the next three months.
It would be carried out by an independent consultant for the proposed development, while a joint-venture company (JVCo) will be formed for the project.
Dr Mohd Azhari said details on IJN’s investment in the new centre and the JVCo will be revealed after the feasibility study is completed.
He added that the hospital will maintain its mandate of serving both government and private patients, with the Kuala Lumpur-based centre presently registering 75% government patient intake.