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Comment: The future of five star hospitals

Timothy Low, chief executive officer of Farrer Park Hospital in Singapore, explains how high end medical treatment can find its niche as belts around the region are tightened.

Asia has extremely high standards when it comes to private healthcare and Singapore is a favourite destination for regional patients. As the newest hospital in Singapore, Farrer Park Hospital offers not only quality clinical care, but also five star personalised service. The unique construct of Connexion, which houses three entities, a medical centre, hospital and five star hotel and spa, offers unparalleled conveniences and comforts to patients and their families.

When a patient is clinically ready, they can be discharged from the hospital and recuperate in the hotel. A hotel stay is cheaper than a hospital stay and can shave 20-30% off the full hospital bill. While the concept of a hospital near a hotel is not uncommon, to integrate it as seamlessly as we did, is novel.

Farrer Park Hospital has so much more to offer. We have top of the line equipment in radiotherapy, and is among the best in the region. We have highly experienced gastroenterologists treating some of the most common cancers such as stomach and bowel cancers.

Another element of the hospital design that is unique is the way information or data is set up to flow seamlessly throughout the building. The construct itself was ahead of the curve by building in fibre optic cables that run throughout the hospital infrastructure, enabling the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

Through VDI, doctors can look at patients’ results in real time on their mobile devices. Be it a ’phone or a tablet, they can get real time information whether they are bedside, dining out or even attending an overseas conference. This gives doctors the opportunity to make fast and informed decisions for the patient anywhere in the world 24/7. In terms of patient care this has enormous benefits. No other hospital that I know of has integrated their information flow as seamlessly as we have. At the planning phase, we’ve built in features that will keep us technologically relevant for the next 20 years.

The integration of our data network also enhances operational efficiency and patient outcome.

We engage the patient and family at every phase of their treatment process because we believe it is an important part of the recovery journey. They can choose their own meal, out of a matrix of over 200 five star hotel chef and hospital nutritionist designed meals.

More importantly, with the integration of the patient medical records and meal ordering system, the patient’s meals are tailored to their dietary needs and they are able to select food that is only suitable for them. The meal orders go directly to the kitchen and saves the hospital manpower. This means that our nurses, the hospital’s most valuable resource can devote more time to patient care and other duties. Traditionally, nurses go around taking orders which takes about three hours a day. Our system saves over 2100 nursing hours annually which can be channelled back to patient care.

We are small as far as healthcare organisations go in Singapore but that makes us nimble. We inculcate in every employee the need to innovate, to have the ability, as an organisation to look beyond the traditional boundaries of healthcare and grasp opportunities quickly.

I encourage my colleagues to challenge the status quo, instead of “why?” we should be asking “why not?”.

Posted on: 13/03/2017 UTC+08:00


News

Union Medical Healthcare, the largest aesthetic medical service provider in Hong Kong, has said that it intends to change the use of the proceeds of its IPO.
Hong Kong-listed Hua Han Health Industry Holdings says that it is on course for the examination into the negative reports from Emerson Analytics last year to be completed by Grant Thornton by the end of the third quarter.
Hang Seng-listed China Medical & HealthCare Group expects to record a significant decrease in the loss attributable to the shareholders of the company for the year ended 30 June.
Beijing-based Symbow Medical, which develops surgical navigation devices, has raised Rmb120 million (US$17.8 million) Series A funding led by Huayi Capital. National Emerging Industry Guidance Fund, Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals, and Sangel Capital all participated.
International Healthway Corporation (IHC), a Singapore-listed integrated healthcare services and facilities provider, has warned that it expects to post a loss for the first and second quarters of the year. “The loss is mainly attributable to operating loss for 1Q2017 and impairment of certain receivables for 2Q2017, respectively,” the company said in a statement.
Medical glove manufacturer Careplus Group plans to raise M$18.9 million (US$4.4 million) via a private placement of shares. The group plans to sell 48.3 million shares at an indicative price of R$0.39 per share. RHB Investment Bank is managing the deal.
Private investment firm TE Asia Healthcare Partners and the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Medical Centre (MTCMC) in Pampanga have agreed to establish a Ps500 million (US$9.9 million) cancer treatment and management centre. The hospital is owned and operated by Silvermed Corporation.
Medical centre operator Primary Health Care has confirmed guidance for the year at the lower end of its guidance with expected net profits of A$92 million (US$73 million). It also flagged up a write down of A$575 million against its medical centres as the division has been underperforming.



Analysis

In what is starting to resemble a comedy of errors, Wenzhou Kangning Hospital, the largest private psychiatric specialty care service provider in China, is having to start work yet again for its A-share offering.
Singapore-based private equity firm Quadria Capital is expanding its holdings in the region with investments into Vietnam and Singapore from its third investment vehicle, Quadria Capital Fund. Financial details were not disclosed for either transaction.
Mental health is a growing issue for expats; workers and their employers, as well as those relocating independently, according to a recent research study by Aetna International. Expatriate mental health: breaking the silence and ending the stigma, calls for businesses and individuals to take more pre-emptive action to combat the problem, to ensure expats have the vital support they need when relocating or working away from their home country.
A new programme, launched by the Chinese Stroke Association (CSA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA) is aiming to improve the treatment for, and prevention of, cardiovascular and stroke events by helping hospitals and providers consistently adhere to the latest scientific treatment guidelines.
Brisbane-based Oventus has had a good week. First and foremost the sleep disorder device manufacturer has just completed the first tranche of capital raising. It has raised A$6.5 million (US$4.9 million) in a placement of shares at A$0.36 per share. A second tranche to raise A$0.5 million will follow subject to shareholder approval. Bell Potter is managing the deal.
A new report from QBE Insurance, Australia's largest global insurer, reveals that 22% of healthcare companies in Hong Kong have suffered from legal and regulatory compliance issues over the past 12 months. The Risks of Regret report looks at both current and future business challenges and opportunities, and how well-prepared companies are to deal with risks.
“The Asia-Pacific region presents lucrative opportunities for multinational pharmaceutical firms that treat diabetes,” says BMI Research in Singapore in a new report on healthcare in Asia. Fuelled by rapid urbanisation, nutrition transition and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the epidemic has grown in parallel with the worldwide rise in obesity. Asia’s large population and rapid economic development have made it an epicentre of the epidemic, with India and China the key hotspots in the region, it explains.
Susann Roth, senior social development specialist, Asian Development Bank, explains why the ADB is committed to doubling health sector investments by 2020.


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