Excellency in medicine

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Dr. Chong Su-Lin
Dr. Chong Su-Lin, CEO Prince Court Medical Centre

Prince Court Medical Centre is a private healthcare facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the aim of being the leading healthcare provider in Asia. Inside Investor caught up with the hospital’s CEO Dr. Chong Su-Lin to hear more about the strategy.

Q: How many patients is Prince Court catering to, and how many are from abroad?

A: As you well know, Malaysia has now become a hub for medical tourism due to the aggressive campaigns and promotions embarked locally and abroad by Malaysian Healthcare Tourism Council and the private hospitals. The patient load is increasing and we, at Prince Court Medical Centre, are also seeing the number growing, both in terms of local and international patients. In 2011, we handled about 172,446 patients of whom 27.89 per cent were international patients. Last year, the number rose to 207,073 of whom 24.82c per cent were international patients and this year we expect to pass the 260,000 mark with international patients exceeding to more than 25 per cent.

Q: Prince Court has just recently been named a top hospital for medical tourists. Can you provide some statistics on where medical tourists come from and what treatment they are looking for?

A: Indonesia has been the number one foreign market for Malaysia for a long time and of late we see potentials in the Bangladesh market, especially among the middle-income population there and surprisingly even Myanmar and that was even before all the political changes. There are two or three doctors from Myanmar who know Malaysia and they’ve actually been the channel to bring patients in, mostly cancer patients. We try not to steal patients but we try to complement whatever service deficiency they have in that country. Those two have been good growth markets. The Australian market for cosmetic surgery continues to be strong. For the smaller markets, such as Libya and Somalia, it tends to be general surgery and orthopedics. But I still think cancer will be the growth market.

Q: What packages is Prince Court offering for medical tourists?

A: While we offer all our services to the International clientele at a competitive and affordable rate, we also have an International Business Lounge, a full-service office that helps patients right from coordinating their arrival, pick-up at airport to concierge, admission, language interpretation and doctor’s appointment services. We also help patients with visa extension if the need arises. While we understand the trauma and stress a sick patient goes through when he/she is sick, we make their stay in Malaysia and most importantly at the hospital as comfortable as possible. We usually pair them with an international patient coordinator who will serve as a single point of contact before, during and after the patient’s visit. In fact, the coordinator will provide all assistance which includes making arrangements for accommodation for the patient and his family members at designated hotels. We also have a very comprehensive and informative website that comprises just not specific clinical information but also patient testimonies, educational articles and write-ups. As PCMC is equipped to provide end-to-end services, the website will be one of the communication channels to promote our services, specialists and expertise.

International patients can also be assured that they would not be fleeced by exorbitant fee as Malaysia is unique in having a medical fee schedule that is mandated by law. The Fee Schedule is within the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998/2006 Regulations and prescribes the maximum fees that may be charged by physicians for consultations, ward rounds and procedures. Amidst all these, Prince Court Medical Centre has also gone one step further to highlight our services and facilities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport arrival area at the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council’s Concierge and Lounge. This gives travelers the insight into what we can offer.

Prince Court2Q: Where are you recruiting your doctors and specialists?

A: Our doctors and specialists are carefully selected from other hospitals, universities and abroad offering their expertise in different field of specialties. Almost all the doctors are Malaysians who are foreign trained and that seems to hold a lot of water as when patients come, they look first for someone with post-graduate training in the UK, or Australia, or the US, in that order. Our team of doctors and specialists are highly qualified, have years of experience and many are well reputed in the region and world for their expertise. They also collaborate with international specialists as well as provide technical and medical knowledge and skills transfer to doctors in other countries.

Q: How would you describe the current competitive landscape in the healthcare sector in Malaysia, and in terms of health tourism with Thailand and Singapore?

A: Healthcare will continue to grow. Our middle income market continues to be quite resilient. Economic growth has been good. Bumps will be mainly in talent and that will continue to be an issue. There have been very aggressive expansion plans in the sector so we will all be fighting for experienced staff and managers. For Prince Court Medical Centre, we’ve still got capacity, so mainly it’s to activate clinics and beds and not be too put off by the façade. It’s this big hospital and everyone thinks, because it says “Prince”, that you have to be a VIP or celebrity or royalty. So we’re saying no, we’re a hospital, it’s just that we happen to have very nice architecture, very nice doctors and very good services.

Malaysia is fast becoming a leader in Asia as a destination for medical tourism due to hospitals providing quality service which is on par with international standards, proven approach to safety and cost effectiveness. In fact, signs of continuous growth are being shown by the Malaysian Medical Tourism Industry for the last couple of years. Asia medical tourism industry has been growing with a double digit Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and is definitely growing in leap and bounds with many looking towards this region for medical care, especially with the healthcare cost spiraling in many developed countries; with Malaysia embarking on an aggressive medical tourism promotion abroad, we for see the future looking bright.

To cater to the needs of international patients, we have engaged the services of new senior managers to coordinate all international patients/medical tourist services and procedures including a Japanese translator for Japanese patients. Our Sales and Marketing team have also been on road shows abroad with doctors to promote the hospital services and facilities through talks and distribution of pamphlets, booklets and brochures. Prince Court Medical Centre will continue to strive to provide the best for all its patients and ensure their stay at the hospital and Malaysia holds good memories as their testimony goes a long way to further boost more patients coming our way.

Prince Court3Q: Where would you rank Prince Court in terms of pricing of its medical services?

A: In Malaysia, we are governed by the fee schedule; that means the amount the doctor can charge for consultations or procedures is mandated by law. Thus, the fee charged is very competitive and within the stipulated fee that falls under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.

Q: Apart from Petronas, are there other owners/sponsors behind Prince Court?

No.

Q: What coorporations do you have with other domestic hospitals and/or medical centers abroad?

A: Since all are from the same industry, we can help each other in terms of patient transfer, assist with patient referrals as some hospitals may not have the high tech or high end medical facilities and services that we have and thus they can refer their patients to Prince Court Medical Centre. Similarly, we do get doctors from hospitals abroad referring their patients to our hospital for surgeries, procedures etc and once we have diagnosed, treated or performed surgeries, we send them back to their country of origin where they can follow up with their own doctors. It’s a win-win situation and at the end of the day all of us want our patients to get well and go home feeling happy.

Q: Do you have any expansion plans? E.g. to open a hospital abroad, for example in Thailand where medical tourism is thriving?

A: None at the moment.

Prince Court1Q: What is Petronas’ long-term goal with Prince Court?

A: Petronas, the National player in the field of oil and gas, has a Corporate Social Responsibility towards the welfare and health of its staff, nation and of course to all who wants the best in health service. The hospital was build with a dream to provide the best healthcare service to the people of Malaysia and the world by having world-class facilities topped by a team of well hand-picked doctors/specialists in all field of specialties. As you know, the parent company has invested heavily in providing patients with the best medical excellence, hospitality services, infrastructure and functionality. Our excellent support services create a synergy with the medical services to provide quality care to the patients and acts more like a backbone to the hospital which leaves a lasting impact on patients and visitors. I am proud to say that our outstanding achievements and breakthroughs in the field of medicine together with the excellent support services do make a difference in the look and feel of the hospital.

Furthermore, we organise public/patient forums, medical education and clinical workshops. We also strongly advocate prevention of illnesses so as to have a healthy nation. We encourage people to go for health screening to detect diseases early as early detection saves life. The past seven years has seen us grow steadily to what we are today and it’s a fruitful journey which reaped its fruit with us being named the World’s Best Hospital for Medical Tourism, an achievement and recognition we truly value and honor.

 

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Dr. Chong Su-Lin, CEO Prince Court Medical Centre

Prince Court Medical Centre is a private healthcare facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the aim of being the leading healthcare provider in Asia. Inside Investor caught up with the hospital’s CEO Dr. Chong Su-Lin to hear more about the strategy.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Dr. Chong Su-Lin
Dr. Chong Su-Lin, CEO Prince Court Medical Centre

Prince Court Medical Centre is a private healthcare facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with the aim of being the leading healthcare provider in Asia. Inside Investor caught up with the hospital’s CEO Dr. Chong Su-Lin to hear more about the strategy.

Q: How many patients is Prince Court catering to, and how many are from abroad?

A: As you well know, Malaysia has now become a hub for medical tourism due to the aggressive campaigns and promotions embarked locally and abroad by Malaysian Healthcare Tourism Council and the private hospitals. The patient load is increasing and we, at Prince Court Medical Centre, are also seeing the number growing, both in terms of local and international patients. In 2011, we handled about 172,446 patients of whom 27.89 per cent were international patients. Last year, the number rose to 207,073 of whom 24.82c per cent were international patients and this year we expect to pass the 260,000 mark with international patients exceeding to more than 25 per cent.

Q: Prince Court has just recently been named a top hospital for medical tourists. Can you provide some statistics on where medical tourists come from and what treatment they are looking for?

A: Indonesia has been the number one foreign market for Malaysia for a long time and of late we see potentials in the Bangladesh market, especially among the middle-income population there and surprisingly even Myanmar and that was even before all the political changes. There are two or three doctors from Myanmar who know Malaysia and they’ve actually been the channel to bring patients in, mostly cancer patients. We try not to steal patients but we try to complement whatever service deficiency they have in that country. Those two have been good growth markets. The Australian market for cosmetic surgery continues to be strong. For the smaller markets, such as Libya and Somalia, it tends to be general surgery and orthopedics. But I still think cancer will be the growth market.

Q: What packages is Prince Court offering for medical tourists?

A: While we offer all our services to the International clientele at a competitive and affordable rate, we also have an International Business Lounge, a full-service office that helps patients right from coordinating their arrival, pick-up at airport to concierge, admission, language interpretation and doctor’s appointment services. We also help patients with visa extension if the need arises. While we understand the trauma and stress a sick patient goes through when he/she is sick, we make their stay in Malaysia and most importantly at the hospital as comfortable as possible. We usually pair them with an international patient coordinator who will serve as a single point of contact before, during and after the patient’s visit. In fact, the coordinator will provide all assistance which includes making arrangements for accommodation for the patient and his family members at designated hotels. We also have a very comprehensive and informative website that comprises just not specific clinical information but also patient testimonies, educational articles and write-ups. As PCMC is equipped to provide end-to-end services, the website will be one of the communication channels to promote our services, specialists and expertise.

International patients can also be assured that they would not be fleeced by exorbitant fee as Malaysia is unique in having a medical fee schedule that is mandated by law. The Fee Schedule is within the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998/2006 Regulations and prescribes the maximum fees that may be charged by physicians for consultations, ward rounds and procedures. Amidst all these, Prince Court Medical Centre has also gone one step further to highlight our services and facilities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport arrival area at the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council’s Concierge and Lounge. This gives travelers the insight into what we can offer.

Prince Court2Q: Where are you recruiting your doctors and specialists?

A: Our doctors and specialists are carefully selected from other hospitals, universities and abroad offering their expertise in different field of specialties. Almost all the doctors are Malaysians who are foreign trained and that seems to hold a lot of water as when patients come, they look first for someone with post-graduate training in the UK, or Australia, or the US, in that order. Our team of doctors and specialists are highly qualified, have years of experience and many are well reputed in the region and world for their expertise. They also collaborate with international specialists as well as provide technical and medical knowledge and skills transfer to doctors in other countries.

Q: How would you describe the current competitive landscape in the healthcare sector in Malaysia, and in terms of health tourism with Thailand and Singapore?

A: Healthcare will continue to grow. Our middle income market continues to be quite resilient. Economic growth has been good. Bumps will be mainly in talent and that will continue to be an issue. There have been very aggressive expansion plans in the sector so we will all be fighting for experienced staff and managers. For Prince Court Medical Centre, we’ve still got capacity, so mainly it’s to activate clinics and beds and not be too put off by the façade. It’s this big hospital and everyone thinks, because it says “Prince”, that you have to be a VIP or celebrity or royalty. So we’re saying no, we’re a hospital, it’s just that we happen to have very nice architecture, very nice doctors and very good services.

Malaysia is fast becoming a leader in Asia as a destination for medical tourism due to hospitals providing quality service which is on par with international standards, proven approach to safety and cost effectiveness. In fact, signs of continuous growth are being shown by the Malaysian Medical Tourism Industry for the last couple of years. Asia medical tourism industry has been growing with a double digit Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and is definitely growing in leap and bounds with many looking towards this region for medical care, especially with the healthcare cost spiraling in many developed countries; with Malaysia embarking on an aggressive medical tourism promotion abroad, we for see the future looking bright.

To cater to the needs of international patients, we have engaged the services of new senior managers to coordinate all international patients/medical tourist services and procedures including a Japanese translator for Japanese patients. Our Sales and Marketing team have also been on road shows abroad with doctors to promote the hospital services and facilities through talks and distribution of pamphlets, booklets and brochures. Prince Court Medical Centre will continue to strive to provide the best for all its patients and ensure their stay at the hospital and Malaysia holds good memories as their testimony goes a long way to further boost more patients coming our way.

Prince Court3Q: Where would you rank Prince Court in terms of pricing of its medical services?

A: In Malaysia, we are governed by the fee schedule; that means the amount the doctor can charge for consultations or procedures is mandated by law. Thus, the fee charged is very competitive and within the stipulated fee that falls under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.

Q: Apart from Petronas, are there other owners/sponsors behind Prince Court?

No.

Q: What coorporations do you have with other domestic hospitals and/or medical centers abroad?

A: Since all are from the same industry, we can help each other in terms of patient transfer, assist with patient referrals as some hospitals may not have the high tech or high end medical facilities and services that we have and thus they can refer their patients to Prince Court Medical Centre. Similarly, we do get doctors from hospitals abroad referring their patients to our hospital for surgeries, procedures etc and once we have diagnosed, treated or performed surgeries, we send them back to their country of origin where they can follow up with their own doctors. It’s a win-win situation and at the end of the day all of us want our patients to get well and go home feeling happy.

Q: Do you have any expansion plans? E.g. to open a hospital abroad, for example in Thailand where medical tourism is thriving?

A: None at the moment.

Prince Court1Q: What is Petronas’ long-term goal with Prince Court?

A: Petronas, the National player in the field of oil and gas, has a Corporate Social Responsibility towards the welfare and health of its staff, nation and of course to all who wants the best in health service. The hospital was build with a dream to provide the best healthcare service to the people of Malaysia and the world by having world-class facilities topped by a team of well hand-picked doctors/specialists in all field of specialties. As you know, the parent company has invested heavily in providing patients with the best medical excellence, hospitality services, infrastructure and functionality. Our excellent support services create a synergy with the medical services to provide quality care to the patients and acts more like a backbone to the hospital which leaves a lasting impact on patients and visitors. I am proud to say that our outstanding achievements and breakthroughs in the field of medicine together with the excellent support services do make a difference in the look and feel of the hospital.

Furthermore, we organise public/patient forums, medical education and clinical workshops. We also strongly advocate prevention of illnesses so as to have a healthy nation. We encourage people to go for health screening to detect diseases early as early detection saves life. The past seven years has seen us grow steadily to what we are today and it’s a fruitful journey which reaped its fruit with us being named the World’s Best Hospital for Medical Tourism, an achievement and recognition we truly value and honor.

 

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