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15th Anniversary of Island Hospital

Speech by YAB Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister

on the 15th Anniversary of Island Hospital on 16 Sept 2011 @ Equatorial Hotel

YB Phee Boon Poh

State Executive Councillor for Health, Welfare, Caring Socitey and Environment

Mr Tony Tan , Executive Chairman of Island Hospital

Mr Mark Wee, Managing Director of Island Hospital

Board of Directors:

Dato’Prof.Dr Chan Kok Ewe,

Dato’Dr Michael Khor

Dato’Dr Chong Keat Foong

Organizing Committee

Management and Staff of Island Hospital

Ladies & gentlemen

It is with great pleasure that I am here tonight on the 15th anniversary of the Founding of Island Hospital. You must all be very proud that your hospital is now an icon of medical excellence in the country, all in this short period of 15 years. I feel very happy to be celebrating this momentous occasion with all of you.

Island Hospital opened its doors to the public exactly 15 years ago today in 1996. The hospital, as you know, was bulit in record time. From the first brick to the first patient took only 10 months. You hit the ground running and never looked back. Island Hospital is now, 15 years later, one of the foremost hospitals in Penang in terms of the volume and turnover of patients seen, inclusive of both local and foreign patients.

Over the years, it has been seen as an increasingly more attractive medical tourist destination. Foreigners have come to appreciate that your hospital offers world class facilities comparable with the best in the west, and this is done at a fraction of the cost of health care there.

According to the statistics by the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia, well over 60% of total receipts of foreign medical patients are from Penang. From 2006 till 2010,Penang recorded well over RM840 million of revenue obtained via foreign patients. Also, Penang recorded 250,000 foreign patients – the highest in recent years for Penang and this has led many private hospitals to grow in size. This has transformed many Penang private hospitals requiring bigger facilities space and more qualified doctors to meet the requirement.

Hence, like many other private hospitals, Island hospital is expanding its facilities with the addition of seven new building projects. The Penang state government with the local authorities, notably the MPPP, have approved these projects in principle, in line with our stated goals to be pro-active in helping to promote health care and make Penang a leading medical hub in the country.

The State Government has declared its aspiration to develop and promote Penang as the Medical City for the region. Our vision of Penang as the leading medical hub in Malaysia is underpinned by quality healthcare, managed costs affordable for the lower as well as high-end segments of the market and a pro-active government administration intent on making the stay of not just the patients as comfortable as possible under the circumstances but also relaxing for their family members. We intend to combine an all in one experience of getting the ailment managed and leaving Penang treated, rested, cured and cheerful.

The State Government is confident that the players in the services industry will respond positively to the initiative of developing and promoting Penang as the Medical City for the reason that the success of the Medical City will translate to profitability for them.

As a Medical City, patients from within ASEAN and further afield will be able to come to Penang to seek a holistic and cost-effective healthcare. The holistic healthcare approach fosters a cooperative relationship among all those who are involved, thus leading towards the best possible attainment of the physical, mental, emotional, social as well as spiritual aspects of health.

The holistic approach is consistent with the rising demand for a wider extent of healthcare, which includes not only curing illnesses but also encompasses education and responsibility for personal efforts towards achieving balance and well being.”

We would like Island Hospital to be one of the private hospitals in Penang to be in the forefront of this holistic approach, in line with its motto, “To Cure Sometimes, to Relieve Often, To Comfort Always”.

On behalf of the State Government, we wish you a happy 15th Anniversary and I am sure that the best is yet to come for Island Hospital and for all of you.


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