KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no intention of selling its stake in the National Heart Institute (IJN) to outsiders because it is a priceless asset to the government and a pride of the people, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
Therefore, any party keen on buying IJN should abandon their intention.
"IJN is the pride of the country. The doctors at IJN, although not paid high salary, are willing to sacrifice to serve the people.
"We appreciate the doctors for upgrading the health service in the country," he told reporters after the opening of the Valve Summit 2009 by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin here Saturday.
Sime Darby had previously announced its intention to take a 51 percent stake in IJN, but the move had to be shelved by the government due to protests from various quarters. IJN is managed by IJN Holdings Sdn. Bhd, which is wholly owned by the Finance Ministry.
Meanwhile, IJN chairman, Datuk Dr. Mohamad Salleh Ismail, said the media could play a role in discouraging would be buyers (of IJN) from pursuing their intention.
IJN is the first government hospital in the country to obtain accreditation from the Joint Commission International, hence placing the service at IJN on par with health institutions in other countries providing health service of international standard.
IJN deputy chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub said IJN obtained the JCI accreditation last week.
Besides IJN, the other hospitals with JCI accreditation in the country are Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC), Prince Court Medical Centre, Pantai Medical Centre in Bangsar and the Penang Adventist Hospital.
Earlier, Muhyiddin, in his speech congratulated IJN for obtaining the international accreditation.
"With the achievement of JCI accreditation, the people of Malaysia and more importantly, IJN's patients, local and foreign, will be assured of receiving the best quality health care that is internationally recognised.
"The accreditation has placed IJN in an elite league of healthcare institutions," he added. - Bernama