Business Times reports that Sime Darby Healthcare, the healthcare arm of Sime Darby, has teamed up with Medilink Network (PVT) Ltd of Bangladesh and Medilink (Beijing) TPA Services Co Ltd to promote medical travel from Bangladesh and China to Malaysia.
The expansion of lucrative, profit-oriented medical tourism will hurt the government-owned general hospitals, which are already experiencing a critical shortage of specialists. It will further contribute to the exodus of specialists to private hospitals from the overstretched public sector.
The irony is that the Sime Darby is owned by government-run or state-managed agencies and bodies. According to Sime Darby’s 2008 Annual Report, its substantial shareholders are:
- Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera – 34%
- EPF – 14%
- PNB – 15%
- Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputera – 15% (deemed interest)
Has the government really explored the impact of promoting medical tourism on its general hospitals.