Medical centre celebrates touching lives for half a century

(From left) Sim, Dr Lai, Gooi, Mohammed Azlan, Jagdeep, Loh, Dr Goh, Dr Ooi (partly hidden) and Naa with bottles of gold liquid for Gleneagles Hospital Penang’s anniversary celebration launch.

DESPITE changing times and technologies, one constant at Gleneagles Hospital Penang has been putting patients at the heart of everything.

This enables the best clinical outcomes, builds trust among the community, and drives a spirit of excellence that is key to any organisation’s longevity, according to its chief executive officer Ivan Loh.

“We always want to make sure we do the right things, every day, for every patient.

“We listen to our hearts and serve from our hearts, because people are the foundation of what we do,” Loh told guests during the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration at Eastern and Oriental Hotel in George Town, Penang.

Some 370 guests were in attendance at the black-tie event featuring a scrumptious eight-course dinner alongside live music performances in the hotel’s grand ballroom.

They were taken on a trip down memory lane to the hospital’s origins back in 1973 when four senior consultants and a cadre of entrepreneurs had a vision to improve the local private healthcare landscape and establish what was then known as Penang Medical Centre on Pangkor Road.

It was acquired by Parkway Holdings Ltd (now part of Kuala Lumpur-based IHH Healthcare) in 1989 and renamed as Gleneagles Medical Centre.

This led to a period of expansion in the late 1990s, with capacity growing to 212 beds and many new specialities and sub-specialities added, making it a comprehensive hub for complex cases.

Further growth followed in 2013 when a major new wing was added alongside the original structure.

“Today Gleneagles Hospital Penang stands as a 19-storey monument to progress, with over 350 beds, 80 specialist consultants, state-of-the-art equipment and advanced operating theatres.

“Over these five decades, we have witnessed incredible clinical triumphs and moments of resilience while serving as a symbol of hope and healing for the community,” said Loh.

He later joined Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Jagdeep Singh Deo, state youth sports and health committee chairman Daniel Gooi, IHH Healthcare chairman Tan Sri Mohammed Azlan Hashim and chief operating officer Joe Sim in pouring bottles of gold liquid into a large vessel, triggering a burst of confetti and lighting up the 50th anniversary logo.

Also participating in the launch ceremony were IHH Healthcare Malaysia chief executive officer Jean-Francois Naa, hospital chairman Datuk Seri Dr Goh Eng Toon, medical director Datuk Dr Lai Yoon Kee and medical advisory committee chairman Dr Ooi Eng Keat.

Naa said the hospital would continue to remain at the forefront of medical advancements by embracing the latest technologies and adopting new practices to enhance outcomes.

“We’re driven by an aspiration to care for good and make a positive impact on patients, people and the public,” he added.

Jagdeep, who is also overseeing Penang’s human capital development, science and technology portfolios, was impressed by the hospital’s technology-driven approach to healthcare.

He described it as the way forward for the future and was proud that Penang led the way thanks to having forward-looking healthcare institutions such as Gleneagles.

“In the past, you had to look elsewhere to find the best options.

“But today, the world is coming to Penang because we have the best practices,” he noted.

Lighter moments ensued when a video titled “Healers of the Galaxy” showed the hospital’s doctors, nurses and staff dressed as characters from a popular space opera multimedia franchise.

But the loudest laughs came at the end of the night when popular Malaysian comedian Douglas Lim took to the stage to offer witty observations about life. — By JEREMY TAN

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