THE first syariah-compliant hospital in the northern region is expected to begin operations in Penang in 2020.
The Penang Islamic Hospital (HIPP), located in Bayan Baru, will cost RM280mil.
It is a collaborative effort by the Penang Islamic Foundation (YIPP) and the Penang Islamic Religious Council.
YIPP chairman Datuk Mansor Othman said the hospital would cater to locals as well as the growing healthcare tourism in the state.
“According to the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), 60% of health tourists chose Penang as their destination for healthcare.
“It is a growing industry as according to MHTC in 2014, health tourism brought in RM370mil. In 2015, it increased to RM390mil,” he said before the groundbreaking ceremony at the site located at the intersection of Jalan Mayang Pasir 1 and Jalan Mayang Pasir 2 on Sunday.
Mansor said the hospital would be able to contribute towards the state’s economic growth as it would create nearly 1,000 jobs in various fields.
Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon in his speech said it was a positive progression for the state to have a syariah-compliant hospital as it would increase the healthcare efficiency offered here.
The hospital, he added, would enable Penang in becoming a medical hub catering to the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas was the guest of honour at the ceremony.
Also present were Permatang Pauh MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Penang Islamic Affairs Council president Datuk Mohd Salleh Man, Penang Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim and Penang Agriculture, Agro-based Industry, Rural Development and Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin.
The 14-storey hospital with 200 beds will feature specialists in the fields of paediatrics, gynaecology, surgery and cardiology.
It will be equipped with a seven-storey car park with 600 bays.
An-Nur Specialist Hospital in Selangor has been chosen as HIPP’s operator.
The hospital will cater not only to Muslims but also non-Muslims seeking affordable medical treatment.
It will offer 20 beds for waqf (Islamic endowment) to the needy whose bills would be borne by HIPP as its commitment to the poor.