Revived hospital going strong

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey building to be built at CMH Specialist Hospital.

Seremban facility to expand with another building, multi-storey carpark

A 91-YEAR-OLD hospital in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, has marked an impressive turnaround over the years.

CMH Specialist Hospital, previously the non-profit Negri Sembilan Chinese Maternity Hospital, was set up in 1932 to serve the underprivileged including immigrants.

A decade ago, it was partially closed by the authorities and heavily in debt. Today, it is registering a revenue of more than RM100mil and is officially debt-free.

It has agreed to distribute 50% of its profits to a medical welfare fund as well as for education, religious and other charitable purposes.

A team helmed by philanthropist Datuk Seri Lee Tian Hock, responsible for the hospital’s transformation, has agreed to provide annual aid of RM300,000 to Chung Hua High School Seremban, RM200,000 to Chung Hua High School Port Dickson and RM150,000 each to SMJK Chan Wa and SMJK Chan Wa II, both located in Seremban.

Lee said at the hospital annual general meeting, “As of June 28 this year, the hospital management has settled an advance given by Datuk Tan Suan Ching and me totalling RM21.3mil.

“I have confidence that CMH Specialist Hospital will become the most trusted community hospital here.”

Lee, who is Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd founder and group executive deputy chairman, is president of Negri Sembilan Chinese Maternity Association (NSCMA), which owns CMH Specialist Hospital.

Lee (front, right) launching a coffeetable book on the hospital after the annual general meeting.Lee (front, right) launching a coffeetable book on the hospital after the annual general meeting.

The hospital, set up by Chinese philanthropists , is known to be the only such surviving hospital in the country as four others in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh and Klang have been taken over by other groups, renamed or ceased operations.

In 2014, the hospital, which was already facing poor business, was slapped with a partial closure by the Health Ministry for committing several violations under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act.

A majority of its specialists left as they had not been paid their dues.

The hospital’s in-patient services were suspended and warded patients were moved to other hospitals.

Mired in debt, the management then appealed to Lee,who agreed to help out.

Lee said the hospital’s fortunes improved following hard work and a corporate restructuring exercise to chart a clear direction for its long-term development.

“The gross profit for the financial year 2023 was RM33.1mil, averaging RM2.2mil per month, compared to RM1.5mil per month in 2021. This is a growth of 44.2%.”

Lee was also optimistic that the hospital would achieve a revenue of RM115mil and pre-tax profit of RM10mil for 2024.

Lee said the management had big plans for the hospital which include being listed on the local bourse in the next three to five years.

“We plan to raise some RM25mil internally by June next year to build a multi-storey carpark with 240 parking bays as part of our expansion plan.

“The second phase will involve public fundraising. We need between RM70mil and RM80mil to construct another eight-storey medical building. This will allow the hospital to add beds and other medical equipment,” he said.

Lee said NSCMA would continue to provide subsidies to dialysis patients at the hospital as well as 11 other centres in other parts of the country.

“This alone costs us between RM150,000 and RM200,000 a month.

“We will ensure the incoming committee will continue the legacy of the hospital’s founders to help the needy,” he said, adding that in the past decade, the hospital had spent RM5.1mil to help the poor.

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