Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn Bhd (RSDH), the 50% joint venture company of Sime Darby Bhd, is eyeing a strong expansion in Malaysia and the region.
The company, which now owns and operates three hospitals each in Malaysia and Indonesia respectively, has the support of both of its shareholders and a debt facility to expand both organically and inorganically.
“From an organic perspective we are looking at how we can grow the three hospitals in Malaysia and we have also just recruited a mergers and acquisitions manager who will start his job soon to look at opportunities in that area,” RSDH group chief executive officer for Asia, Gregory Scott Brown, tells StarBizWeek.
Brown says inorganic opportunities may be looked at in Malaysia and the other parts of Asia as well, particularly in China.
“We are also looking at other markets as well. Well, everybody talks about China today and we are thinking of how we can expand into China. We are looking to our new manager to look at what other opportunities are there in Asia to strengthen our footprint,” he says.
“We have got the support of both the companies (joint venture shareholders) which have said that they would like to expand and that they will support this expansion. I feel that we are in a good space to do just that.
“And it also largely depends on the acquisition as well. If it is a small acquisition we can fund that internally but if it is a larger acquisition then the company will work out how it will be funded,” Brown adds.
RSDH is a 50:50 JV owned by Sime Darby and Australian Stock Exchange listed Ramsay Health Care Ltd.
In Malaysia RSDH owns and operates three hospitals: Subang Jaya Medical Centre, Ara Damansara Medical Centre and ParkCity Medical Centre.
While in neighbouring Indonesia, the company owns and operates two hospitals in Jakarta: RS Premier Bintaro and RS Premier Jatinegara and another RS Premier Surabaya which is located in Surabaya, the capital of East Java.
Brown says the company has plans in the pipeline to beef up its presence in Malaysia.
“We got about 600 beds in the three hospitals in Malaysia. That’s 395 beds in Subang Jaya Medical Centre, 140 at ParkCity Medical Centre and 80 beds at Ara Damansara Medical Centre. Subang Jaya Medical Centre has been well established which has been around for more than 30 years and we are looking at strategies and are fortunate that we have some capacity that we can grow here as well,” he says.
“For Ara Damansara Medical Centre and ParkCity Medical Centre we have got shell space where we can easily add beds to these hospitals. We can grow to close to 200 beds in Park City. We are working on strategic plan that will involve the staff and doctors,” Brown adds.
He says he would like to engage further with these hospitals to develop the hospitals into community hospitals.
To enhance the hospitals competitive advantages, Brown says he would like to see all the hospitals within its portfolio to obtain the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation within the next two years.
“Our hospitals in Indonesia are currently accredited with the JCI or about to be. And we are making the same commitment in Malaysia for all our hospitals to be JCI accredited on top of the accreditation already obtained by the ministry of health.
“We feel that other accreditations are important as well,” he says.
“By the year 2020, all our hospitals will be JCI accredited and we are already working towards this goal. We would like to be the best we possibly can. This allows us to introduce best industry practices in our hospitals,” Brown adds.
According to its website, JCI said it is the world’s largest healthcare accreditor and works to improve patient safety and quality of healthcare. He says the outlook on healthcare will remain solid given general demographic trends but there may be some shifts that is happening within the industry that could open up new opportunities.
“My belief is that the main focus will be on day surgery as I believe the anaesthetic techniques and technology is allowing patients to stay in the hospital for a shorter period of time. This is obviously what patients want.
“The other area is to look at ways we can capitalise on preventive medicine rather than just curative,” Brown says.
He says that in the area of preventive medicine, health screening is going to be a growing trend moving forward to enable early detection of diseases as well or prevent issues from happening in the first place.