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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

Medical rubber glove manufacturer Hartalega Holdings has incorporated a 70% owned subsidiary company in China called Foshan Dynamic.
Singapore-based dental group Unity Denticare is the latest company to sign an MOU with Malaysian online healthcare booking app BookDoc. The company has now pretty much cornered the dental market in Singapore. At the end of March signed an MOU with Q&M Dental Group, which operates the largest network of private dental outlets in the island state.
The majority of bondholders have decided to redeem their paper in Singapore-listed integrated healthcare services and facilities provider International Healthway Corporation.
Leading domestic media organisation Singapore Press Holdings is moving into healthcare with the acquisition of Orange Valley Healthcare from KV Asia Capital for S$164 million (US$118 million). The acquisition will be funded with a mixture of cash and debt.
TalkMed Group, a provider of medical oncology and palliative care health care services, has reported a 1.7% decline in profits for the first quarter of the year to S$8.4 million (US$6 million) on revenues that rose 1.4% to S$16.2 million.
Care home operator Pine Care Group has sold a care home in Kwun Tong, Kowloon, for HK$6.6 million (US$853,000) to Goal Achiever Ventures, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
Shares in Aoxin Q&M Dental Group (AQMD), a spin off of Singapore’s Q&M Dental Group, jumped 17.5% on their SGX debut today. The company raised S$9.1 million (US$6.5 million) selling 57 million shares at S$0.20 each on the Catalist board. SAC Capital handled the deal.
Wenzhou Kangning Hospital, the largest private psychiatric specialty care service provider in China, has delayed plans to list on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, thanks to difficulties with its lawyers.



Analysis

Jonathan Tan, director of Asia Pacific Risk Centre, explains how an aging population and the rise in non-communicable diseases is threatening the affordability of insurance premiums across the region.
“The Asia Pacific healthcare sector’s growth trajectory will be decidedly positive. The expansion of universal healthcare across the region will boost utilisation of medical services, even as the prevalence of chronic diseases rise in tandem with the shift in lifestyles and an ageing population,” says BMI Research in Singapore in a new report on healthcare in Asia.
After a visit to Myanmar, Jiadi Yu, principal investment officer at the IFC in Hong Kong, is optimistic about the country’s health market.
Amid questions about the direction of the global economy, investors doubled down on healthcare as a safe haven in 2016, driving up both the number and the value of deals, according to Bain & Company’s sixth Global Healthcare Private Equity and Corporate M&A Report.
Susann Roth, senior social development specialist, Asian Development Bank, explains how Vietnam is seizing the opportunity of digital health.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s new medical technologies and pharmaceuticals roadmap sets out a path for how Australia could become an important player in medical technologies and pharmaceuticals, which is expected to grow to almost A$3 trillion (US$2.3 trillion) globally by 2025.
The takeover of Australian private hospital operator Pulse Health by Healthe Care, Australia’s third largest hospital operator has been put on hold for two months. Yesterday Pulse applied to the Supreme Court of New South Wales to delay a scheme meeting planned for Wednesday this week to approve its takeover, until 1 May.
The renounceable non-underwritten 11-for-200 rights issue for SGX-listed private healthcare provider Health Management International (HMI) has received strong interest from investors. It had a 145.7% subscription rate, raising gross proceeds of S$18.5 million (US$13.1 million).
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