M’sia set to be No 1 in SE Asia in providing high tech healthcare

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is poised to be the number one nation in offering the latest in healthcare high tech in South-East Asia.

According to Mitchell Silong, general manager for healthcare and information technology at General Electric Healthcare Asia Pacific (GE), the IT infrastructure and the healthcare sector in Malaysia is growing in line with the government’s commitment to upgrade these sectors.

“Malaysia is the No 1 nation in the region, in terms of investment in high-tech healthcare equipment which include advanced MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology,” Silong said in an exclusive interview for The Malaysian Reserve.

Silong said the wider acceptance of new technologies by the Malaysian healthcare authorities and the fact the country is already a leading destination in health tourism have been instrumental in turning Malaysia into a major healthcare destination in the region.

“Asia has a very disparate healthcare market, with some countries having strong public healthcare while others have very strong private services. Japan for example has a matured market,” he said.

He said that while Australia was relatively advanced in healthcare IT, Malaysia is more advanced in infrastructure and knowledge when looking into comparison at the higher end of the scale.

The country’s healthcare sector is rapidly changing in line with the government’s vision towards an industrialised Malaysia by the year 2020 under the various economic transformation programmes.

Malaysia has progressively undertaken various initiatives and programmes to improve the healthcare facility and engineering services.

GE is currently the technology partner in the government’s Diagnostic Services Nexus Teleradiology programme, one of the Entry Point Projects outlined under the Economic Transformation Programme.

The programme aims to establish Malaysia as a global imaging centre of excellence, providing teleradiology services for public and private institutions. The programme is currently connected to six institutions, and GE is partnering with the government to understand the opportunities for future expansion of the project.

With the introduction of GE’s “Universal Viewer” in Malaysia, GE Healthcare is helping local institutions to deliver a powerful unified workspace for radiologists and clinicians and this will help curtail the shortage of radiologists in the country.

As a result, Teleradiology and remote reading have also improved Malaysia.

“This has changed the healthcare industry. The new technologies and the efficiency in managing the MRI’s and scans allows medical practitioners and hospitals to communicate faster on the images and so on,” he said.

This Silong said, has changed the face of radiology itself and has impacted on the provision of healthcare of higher standards in this era of technological informatisation of the sector.

GE’s global growth is sustained by Asia’s demands for advanced IT healthcare systems, and Malaysia is one of the countries where most of these systems are being put to use.

GE healthcare worldwide generate s about US$18 billion (RM56.7 billion) — US$1.3 billion in Asia, whereas healthcare IT stands at US$1.4 billion, which places GE as the number one in the world in the healthcare IT services sector.

source:Free Malaysia Today

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