TECHNOLOGIES and innovations that help us improve our health and well-being are proliferating.
In a world where advancing technologies are revolutionising the healthcare industry, being innovative is not just desirable but necessary for improved efficiency, enhanced patient experience and boosted reputation to attract talented staff and remain competitive.
With this fact in mind, KL Wellness City strategically located in Bukit Jalil is envisioned as a world-class sustainable healthcare-based township, set to redefine and elevate healthcare delivery and patient experiences.
The root idea
The idea of KL Wellness City was mooted by Datuk Dr Colin Lee who began his career as a medical doctor from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and currently specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology.
“Over the years of practice as a doctor, I have always wished that one day the patients’ needs and related needs can be managed at just one place.
“I feel sorry when my patient requires treatment that is not within my specialty, and I have to refer her to someone else, which she will need to travel to another medical institution and may eventually add on to the stress that she already has.
“I have been dealing with foreign patients for about 20 years now, and I’ve always felt such a pity that there’s no such avenue to provide them an ideal end-to-end patient experience like a place to stay throughout their treatment, with lifestyle needs taken care of.
“So I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if there is a place where every single medical, healthcare, fitness and wellness need can be achieved within an interconnected space?” said Dr Lee, who is managing director of KL Wellness City Sdn Bhd.
A doctor since 1984, 64-year-old Dr Lee described himself as an innovator who looks to improve everything he sees and experiences. With more than a dozen world firsts in the fields of IVF, genomics, and stem cells, and over 50 firsts in Australia and Asia (namely Malaysia and Singapore) in the field of IVF, Dr Lee is an internationally recognised leader and innovator in the field of fertility technologies.
According to Dr Lee, KL Wellness City is a comprehensive, fully integrated and interconnected ecosystem that blends medical care, healthcare, wellness and fitness into a purpose-built hub, touted as the first in South-East Asia.
“I believe that in the spirit of health and wellness, and beyond that, fitness, if people can come to a place where not only their healthcare and medical needs are treated but they can be rejuvenated, where their wellness and health is maximised, they can come to a place and stay for a short programme, for a week or a month. For instance, they can come here as a 60-year-old, and leave feeling like 45.
“Putting the health, medical, fitness and wellness pillars together, this ‘city’ is made possible thanks to the accumulated experience of KL Wellness City’s capable team.
“As the first healthcare and wellness city in South-East Asia, KL Wellness City is set to offer an impeccable experience for everyone seeking a more efficient and pleasant patient journey through its 360-degree ecosystem,” said Dr Lee.
Throughout KL Wellness City, the integrated township has been carefully planned for all occupants to be able to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle combining the built environment with nature, green spaces, convenience, safety and opportunities to cultivate good and healthy habits.
With comprehensive commercial and retail infrastructure and amenities, the building design maximises natural light and ventilation along with an abundance of green landscaping – offering a high occupant-to-nature ratio with as much as 5sqm of greenery per person.
Elevating medical tourism
The concept of KL Wellness City aligns with Malaysia’s position as the leading global destination of choice for healthcare tourists and the goals of the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint 2021-2025 to elevate medical tourism in the country.
Targeting to achieve economic recovery beyond pre-pandemic levels, when Malaysia’s medical tourism sector generated RM1.7bil in revenue from 1.22 million healthcare travellers in 2019, the industry has the potential to contribute up to RM7bil to the economy by 2025.
“Malaysia’s medical care is among the best in South-East Asia and has gained the reputation of being one of the most preferred medical tourism destinations in the region as healthcare services in Malaysia are competitively affordable and of high standards.
“Compared to Singapore, Malaysia’s medical cost is 25% more affordable for the same treatment and about 50% of the doctors are from Malaysia, while we are 10% more affordable than Thailand.
“However, don’t rest on our laurels yet as the healthcare industry is very competitive. I strongly appeal to the government to set aside a bigger budget to leverage on the country’s already leading position. Get hold of this low-hanging fruit and I trust the economic returns would be immense,” he said.
Dr Lee pointed out that KL Wellness City believes in leveraging Malaysia’s leading position in healthcare tourism to not only boost the industry’s contribution to the economy but also to attract Malaysians practising various specialities and sub specialists to return to serve their country.
“The majority of healthcare professionals would not consider coming back to practise as not only our ringgit is low but they find no opportunities to pursue what they are doing now overseas, especially in R&D.
“KL Wellness City is taking great efforts to provide the platform to incentivise R&D and clinical studies and with that, to attract Malaysia’s talent pool to return,” he said.
Spanning about 10ha, KL Wellness City is set to be rolled out in two phases and targeted to be completed over a 10-year period.
With a gross development value (GDV) of more than RM11bil, the first phase consists of the Nobel Healthcare Park and the International Hospital, expected to be completed in 2025, while the later phase includes office towers, a retirement resort and wellness-centric serviced apartments.
The Nobel Healthcare Park is a dedicated medical and wellness suite complex planned as a one-stop hub from diagnosis to rehabilitation.
Medical specialists practising at the Nobel Healthcare Park will have full access to the services of the International Hospital scheduled to open in early 2025, with facilities such as 624 beds scalable to 1,000, state-of-the-art equipment and operating theatres, complemented by innovation laboratories and clinical research and development facilities.
“Built in compliance with Health Ministry specifications and designed in modular format, the medical suites offer specialists the flexibility to optimise the space to suit their precise requirements and the freedom to make changes according to evolving needs.
“We are confident this will enhance their interest to own the suites as an investment in addition to running a practice here. In fact, we are expecting a take-up rate of 80% in the first three months of the first phase launch,” said Dr Lee.
The medical suites offer a floor area starting from 223sqft with prices from RM414,000.
Meanwhile, the fully furnished wellness suites provide versatile living spaces suitable for owner occupancy, home office usage or short-term stays including for step-down care and healthcare traveller accommodation.
Offering opportunities for attractive rental yield, these suites, which come in 268sqft and 386sqft options, are priced from RM338,000. They also come with top-tier leisure and lifestyle facilities such as a 50m lap pool, jacuzzi, sandy cove and food and beverage outlets.
“Our international hospital is benchmarked against top hospitals around the region, particularly Mount Elizabeth Novena in Singapore and Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, both of which serve a clientele comprising significant numbers of international patients.
“We are confident that our planning for this fully integrated and interconnected township will contribute toward a positive experience for all who seek health and wellness at KL Wellness City,” concluded Dr Lee.
For further information on KL Wellness City, go to www.klwellnesscity.com