High demand for fertility services

TMC Life Science Nadiah Wan

KUALA LUMPUR: Demand for fertility services is anticipated to increase due to global demographic and lifestyle changes, according to TMC Life Sciences Bhd group chief executive officer Nadiah Wan.(pic)

“We anticipate that demand for fertility services will definitely increase, given the demographic changes across the world.

“In recent years, I think awareness has improved. People do come in for fertility screenings, rather than trying to experiment and bumble their way and then, years later, walk into an in-vitro fertilisation clinic,” she told MIDF group managing director Datuk Charon Mokhzani during an “MIDF Conversations” online programme.

Healthcare group TMC Life Sciences operates its flagship hospital, Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara and has a Thomson Iskandar project in Johor.

The group also has six fertility centres under TMC Fertility in the country, as well as the Thomson TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) centre in Puchong and a TMC Care pharmacy unit.

“People getting married later, and postponing having children,” noted Nadiah, adding that factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic, obesity and environmental pollution were also affecting birth rates.

Nadiah also pointed out that the Employees Provident Fund withdrawals are allowed for fertility treatment.

On the group’s plans for 2022, she said it was looking at leveraging on technology to provide more efficiency and also a better patient experience.

“Healthcare technology is something that we’re looking at very seriously. So within the hospital, we are transitioning not just to electronic medical records but looking at implementing customer relationship management systems, and also queue management, which is essentially flow and efficiency systems and a lot of other systems,” she said.

Nadiah opined that healthcare is ripe for disruption.

“In Thomson Medical Group, we have set up a new arm called Thomson X, which is just focused on investing in up-and-coming health tech innovations. We have been very risk averse and conservative, and even sectors like financial institutions who are risk averse and conservative have moved on,” she said.

Nadiah also pointed out that globally, there is a shortage of healthcare talent.

“You see a lot of people resigning even in the United States and United Kingdom due to burnout and the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

Nadiah said the trend in healthcare is diverging towards ambulatory at-home monitoring.

“We can see that very clearly during the pandemic where infected people can be monitored at home, and you only come to the hospital when you need to.

“And in this way, you kind of manage the sustainability of the cost of medical inflation,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Thomson Iskandar project in Johor Baru is expected to be a significant contributor to the group in the future.

“I think Johor is more of a long term play in a sense, especially with border closures and such. Our site is 10 minutes away from the Bukit Chagar rapid transit system station. And so I think that when all the infrastructure pieces come together, it would be a very good project that would ride the wave of recovery and growth in Johor,” said Nadiah.

Meanwhile, TCM continues to be an important part of the group, with encouraging demand for alternative medicine.

“It’s part of our vision to build an integrated holistic platform.

“A lot of our patients want Chinese medicine therapies like acupuncture and so on, to improve the pregnancy, stroke and pain management. It’s been doing quite well and we’re going to open another new branch soon in Kota Damansara,” said Nadiah.

Shares of TMC Life Sciences closed unchanged at 54.5 sen yesterday.

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