New Healthcare Facility to Serve as ‘Potent Force for Change’ in Singapore’s Private Medical Sector

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Come early 2013, a new private healthcare facility will open in the vibrant vicinity of Farrer Park

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Sitting atop Farrer Park MRT Station on a 1.36ha site with a substantially lower investment cost of S$800 million in site acquisition and construction costs, doctors can expect reasonable facility charges at Farrer Park Hospital.

The hospital will be part of Connexion, the world’s first truly integrated healthcare and hospitality complex comprising Farrer Park Medical Centre, a top-class specialist medical centre with 189 consultation suites; Farrer Park Hospital, a comprehensive tertiary hospital; One Farrer, a luxury hotel equipped with ultramodern conference facilities; and Owen Link, a ground-floor retail arcade. The integrated complex is developed by Singapore HealthPartners (SHP), formed from a group of eminent private medical specialists and selected foreign investors.

With the above cost advantages, doctors stand to reap the benefits of lower clinic ownership cost if they purchase clinics at Farrer Park Medical Centre, to be completed in late 2012. With lower overheads, doctors will also be able to provide the best quality care of good value to their patients at reasonable prices.

“We have a unified determination to make Connexion a potent force for change in Singapore’s private medical sector,” says Dr Maurice Choo, chairman of the board at SHP. Promoting high standards of medical practice while providing good value to patients is the guiding principle underpinning all that the team at SHP is hoping to achieve, Dr Choo says.

The construction is contracted to and led by Samsung C&T Corporation, a world-renowned company which was instrumental in building Birj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building in Dubai. Samsung’s local joint venture partner is Singapore-listed construction group Tiong Seng Contractors. Following the award of the main building contract in August 2010, construction has been underway since early November 2010.

Connexion’s building design, encompassing several synergistic facilities that will allow healthcare delivery processes to be redesigned for greater patient comfort at lower costs through more efficient use of resources, continues to inspire many within and outside the medical arena. In addition to being responsive to patients’ needs, environment-sensitive design elements have also been incorporated into its unique architecture.

“I was moved by the dreams of this dedicated group of doctors who understand that good health flows from good care,” says Dato Low Tuck Kwong, newly appointed director of SHP’s board of directors. “Providing patients with the best care is possible only when good, honest healthcare professionals truly commit themselves to making a meaningful difference in the healthcare outcomes of their patients rather than emerging tops in the race for profits.”

Dato Low is one of two new investors who bought over the shares of former shareholders Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd, dental surgeon Djeng Shih Kien, architect Tan Suat Hua and several doctors. Dato Low bought a 35 per cent stake in the company and, together with his daughter, Elaine Low, was elected to its newly constituted board of directors last September. He heads PT Bayan Resources, an integrated coal producer that also runs the largest coal terminal in Indonesia.

Real estate firm Wharton Pacific Pte Ltd, which is related to existing shareholder Wharton Scott Pte Ltd, also bought a 15 per cent stake, raising the total shareholding of Wharton Scott Holdings, which owns the two companies, to 35 per cent.

Of the eight members of the company’s board, four are established doctors in private medical practice, including Dr Choo, the board’s chairman, Dr Whang Hwee Yong, Dr Richard Chew, and Dr Jimmy Beng. The other four are Dato Low, Elaine Low, Teo Soon Hoe (Senior Executive Director and Group Finance Director of Keppel Corporation Limited), and Dr Richard Helfer (Chairman of RCH International Pte Ltd and former founding chairman/CEO of Raffles International).

At the same time, the company has been building a strong management team led by its President and CEO, Dr Luisa Lee, formerly CEO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Woodbridge Hospital/Institute of Mental Health. Dr Lee heads a team of talented and committed professionals and executives overseeing all aspects of the development and ensuring its timely completion.

Singapore plans to transform its healthcare to be among the best in the world. The health minister announced recently the injection of nearly S$7 billion to uplift the sector. When it comes on stream, Connexion will be a major boost to Singapore’s objective of developing top-notch healthcare. For more information, click here.

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