KPJ to upgrade hospitals and build new one in KL

BY ZAZALI MUSA in Pasir Gudang, Johor

PRIVATE healthcare services provider KPJ Healthcare Bhd will be spending about RM200mil in the next two years building a new hospital and upgrading the existing hospitals under its stable. 

Its chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said that of the total figure RM70mil would be set aside for a new hospital project to replace the existing Tawakal Hospital building in Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur. 

He said the proposed nine-storey hospital was located within walking distance of the present building and would have 150 beds upon completion. 

Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim

Ali said KPJ had wanted to close the Tawakal Hospital with the opening of the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital but decided against it, as patients were quite reluctant to travel to Ampang. 

“Our experience shows that residents of particular areas are more comfortable seeking treatment within their living zone,” he said. 

Ali, who is also the Johor Corp chief executive officer and president of Johor Football Association, said this at the launch of a football sponsorship programme for two secondary schools by the association. 

He said part of the RM200mil budget would also be used to further upgrade KPJ's existing hospitals and the company had identified five to six hospitals for renovation works. 

Declining to name the hospitals, Ali said they would be equipped with the latest medical equipment and state-of-the-art technology, as would the new hospitals, Kuching Specialist and Seremban Specialist, slated to open in mid-2003 and mid-2004 respectively. 

Three hospitals – Ipoh Specialist, Johor Specialist and Johor Baru Puteri Specialist – have already undergone upgrading works. 

Other hospitals in the KPJ stable are Kuantan Specialist, Kedah Medical Centre, Ampang Puteri Specialist, Damansara Specialist and Kota Bahru Perdana Specialist.  

“It is a tough business. You have to have good infrastructure and facilities, professionally trained staff, both medical and non-medical, but it is profitable,” Ali said. 

He said KPJ would continue to focus on local patients rather than be too dependent on foreigners as “Malaysians provide bread and butter” for the company.  

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