A Hospital’s Role in Building a Healthy World
What is your impression of a hospital? What should a good hospital have? Sunway Medical Centre Chief Executive Officer, Bryan Lin Boon Diann shares that “a good hospital should strive for excellence in clinical outcomes as well as providing high quality, patient-centric service that is affordable and accessible to the community. Additionally, the hospital should also invest in developing its staff and doctors and actively advocate CSR programmes and research”.
“Meanwhile, healthcare professionals should possess qualities such as empathy, compassion, integrity and have high level of ethics and patience. Of course, he or she must also excel in making the correct diagnosis and ensuring that the right treatment is rendered to the patients,” he adds.
The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates that everyone has the right to health. At Sunway Group, we strongly believe that sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand, Lin said.
“For Sunway Medical Centre, we are aligned to Goal 3, which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Health is one of the fundamentals rights that should be accessible for each person.
“As a private healthcare, we support the public healthcare in certain ways and one of the most recent is the COVID-19 vaccination in support of the country’s largest National Immunisation Programme. Our hospital is one of the designated vaccination centres for Petaling District and we are currently completing Phase 1 for healthcare frontliners, including ten other private hospitals,” he said.
Malaysia has always been an attractive destination for medical tourism. In 2018 alone, the industry drew a revenue of RM1.5 billion from over 1.2 million medical tourist arrivals, according to the Malaysia Healthcare Chronicles industry report 2009-2019. However, the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) estimates that there has been a 75% drop in medical tourism for Malaysia due to the pandemic.
With economies opening up in stages and healthcare continues to be top of mind especially with a heighten awareness brought by COVID-19 and the on-going COVID-19 vaccination in place, we are positive that health tourism will slowly but surely make a comeback for growth.
Teleconsultation and telemedicine are seeing considerable growth, with many hospitals expanding their offering of online pre-travel diagnosis and post-travel consultation. Sunway Medical Centre launched it’s 24/7 Telemedicine Command Centre early January this year, pioneering this in Malaysia.
As time and circumstances change, modern attitudes toward health have shifted dramatically. According to Lin, people are generally seeking affordable quality health care services, while also focusing on personalised treatment plans.
“The younger group is becoming more health-conscious; older age groups not only want to live longer life expectancy, but also a high quality of life,” he said.
Media has an important role to play in shaping conversations in the fabrics of society. When it comes to healthcare, it is crucial to promote responsible health behaviours, to engage with the public and to minimise or curb misinformation, especially in the digital age of rapid information. So there is a journalism and social responsibility to ensure the right information gets communicated across for people to make informed decisions about their health needs.