JOHOR BARU: Johor will be in a good position to boost its medical tourism sector with the opening of the first cardiac hospital outside Kuala Lumpur within the next four years.
Johor State Investment Centre (JSIC) general manager Mahadon Marnin said Institut Jantung Negara Holdings (IJN) and Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) made the right decision by choosing Johor Baru for the hospital.
“The hospital will be able to tap the larger customer base in the southern region as well as those from Singapore and Indonesia to come for treatment here,’’ he told StarBiz.
IJN Holdings and PNB had recently signed a memorandum of understanding in Kuala Lumpur to collaborate to set up the cardiac hospital in Johor Baru.
Mahadon said the hospital’s location in Taman Perling near to the Second Link Crossing in Tanjung Kupang, Gelang Patah was an added advantage to attract Singaporeans and Indonesians entering Malaysia via the land link.
He said Indonesians from nearby Riau islands could use the ferry services at the Stulang Laut, Kukup and Puteri Harbour Ferry terminals to come to Johor Baru for medical treatment.
“Many middle income Indonesians including those from the nearby Riau Islands and Sumatra are going to Singapore and Melaka for medical treatment and we could attract them to come to Johor Baru,” added Mahadon.
Located on a 1ha site, the hospital is part of the components in the mixed development project in a 4.12ha land belonging to PNB Commercial Sdn Bhd consisting of a retail mall, a four-star hotel and a convention centre.
The 150-bed hospital will offer medical services to between 20 and 30 patients for cardiology and heart related treatments.
It also offers other specialised treatments such as diabetic and renal care to meet the community’s needs.
“IJN and PNB should work closely with the Immigration Department to ease the travel procedures for patients from Singapore and Indonesian coming to Johor Baru for their medical check-up,’’ he said.
Mahadon said JSIC, as the coordinator and facilitator for domestic and foreign investors coming to the state would offer its assistance to the two parties to ensure the hospital would be completed on schedule.
He said the cardiac hospital would create economic spillover directly and indirectly to Johor’s economy including creating new job opportunities, hospitality and support services.
“Our National Heart Institute is already a well-known name and its presence in Iskandar Malaysia could attract patients from the region to come to Johor Baru,’’ said Mahadon.
Several medical websites say the cost of a heart bypass in Singapore ranges between US$13,000 and US$33,000.