IHH Healthcare offers on-demand Covid-19 test

A notice on Influenza and Coronavirus outbreak information is placed at a pharmacy at a U Sentral mall in Kuala Lumpur. AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star (19/2/2020)

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia’s biggest hospital group is offering on-demand tests for the new coronavirus in Malaysia, while helping Singapore’s authorities diagnose cases, even as other countries struggle with a shortage of kits.

IHH Healthcare Bhd.’s Gleneagles and Pantai hospitals around Kuala Lumpur and Melaka are endorsed to perform the tests by Malaysia’s health authority, which has sought to “Uber-ise” the service by letting people pay to find out whether they have the disease known as Covid-19.

In Singapore, IHH’s Parkway Health Laboratory is the only private facility accredited by the health ministry to help test suspected cases.

The services were rolled out “so that public hospitals have the bandwidth to continue prioritising the treatment of infected patients, ” said Kelvin Loh, managing director and chief executive officer at IHH.

The company will soon expand the on-demand service to other cities across Malaysia, including Penang, Ipoh and Johor Bahru, which neighbors Singapore. He didn’t say whether people had to meet certain conditions to be tested nor did he provide the cost of the service.

Singapore has developed its own coronavirus diagnostic kit and Malaysia is letting those without symptoms pay private hospitals to get tested at home, even as countries from the U.S. to Japan struggle with a shortage of testing kits.

Other companies offering on-demand tests in Malaysia include KPJ Healthcare Bhd.’s Lablink and Qualitas Medical Group as well as apps such as BookDoc and DoctorOnCall.- Bloomberg

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