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KUCHING, Aug 1, 2015:

Public Health Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil says Sarawak wants more participation in the private healthcare service sector.

He said the state had been the destination for medical tourism for Brunei and Kalimantan markets, but as these markets grew, private sectors could explore tapping into other international markets in the region.

“Not only we get the increasing number of medical tourists, these medical centres will also provide a destination for local talents to serve the state,” said Dr Jerip at the launching of Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn Bhd’s new nine-storey Kuching Specialist Hospital building at Muara Tebas Land District here yesterday.

The current KPJ Kuching Specialist Hospital in Tabuan Laru last year received 14,775 foreign patients, which is 20% of the total patients received at the hospital.

The initial hospital, established in 2004, began catering to more than 21,000 patients annually.

KPJ Healthcare Berhad chairman Datuk Amiruddin Abdul Satar said realising the rapid growth in the state, KPJ had planned for a bigger facility to meet the increasing demand for private healthcare service from both local and international markets.

“The new hospital will have a total of 300 beds and this is to be opened in two phases. For the first phase, the hospital will have a capacity of more than 150 beds equipped with the latest medical services,” said Amiruddin.

Among the specialist service offered includes orthopedic and traumatology, cardiology and heart surgery and chemotherapy and radiation oncology. KPJ has allocated an investment of RM100 million for the first phase, which includes the construction cost, equipment and land.

The construction will begin immediately and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2017.

Apart from Kuching, KPJ also has another hospitals in Sibu, namely KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Center and Love Care Center for nursing and geriatric care.

The Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who officiated, said the new hospital was in line with the state’s desire to see many young capable and intelligent Sarawakians in the medical fraternity to serve in the private and public medical sector.

“Today is a glimpse of this vision being fulfilled here,” said Abdul Taib who envisioned the desire during his time serving as the Chief Minister of the state.

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