SPEECH BY Y.A.B. LIM GUAN ENG, CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
Penang Adventist Hospital’s 90th Anniversary Appreciation Dinner
Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang
Thursday, 11 December 2014; 6.55pm
1. Let me begin by congratulating Penang Adventist Hospital on the occasion of your 90th anniversary this year.
2. Penang Adventist Hospital has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a ‘free clinic’, where the poor were ‘treated free’. Over the past 90 years, the hospital has transformed itself from the humble clinic with a mission to bring Western medicine to the Malayan community despite their different beliefs, to a tertiary healthcare facility that is much sought after by the Malaysian community and medical tourists the world over.
3. It is also heartening to note that Penang Adventist Hospital has throughout all these years, proudly continued with its tradition of helping the poor and sick. The hospital’s efforts in organising numerous charity fund-raising programmes such as the Cycle 4 Hearts event, and its collaboration with various organisations to work towards providing accessible healthcare services to people from all walks of life is indeed laudable.
4. Over the last few years, the healthcare sector has been growing steadily to become a crucial segment in the overall economy of Malaysia. Hence, it is vital for healthcare industry players to push further including improving citizens’ accessibility to quality healthcare.
5. Malaysia is currently ranked among the world’s top health tourism destinations, with over 60% of health tourists making Penang their preferred choice. A study by the American publication - International Living rated the country’s healthcare system third best out of 24 countries in its 2014’s Annual Global Retirement Index. The same study also named Penang as a medical centre of excellence.
6. Statistics from the Penang Health Association (PHA) revealed that Penang’s medical tourism recorded RM370 million in 2013. In 2012, the revenue was RM314 million, an increase of about 14 percent from the year before.
7. Let me congratulate Penang Adventist Hospital’s success at being conferred the “Highest Revenue for Healthcare Travellers, Northern Region, 2012” and the Overall Highest Revenue for Healthcare Travellers 2012” awards by the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
8. If one visits a private hospital in Penang, they will be amazed by the number of foreign patients seeking medical treatments here. This is due to factors such as – the quality of medical care offered by our healthcare professionals, the relatively affordable prices, as well as the “rest, relax and recuperate” opportunities available in Penang’s resort like nature.
9. Penang is currently Malaysia’s largest medical tourism destination, contributing nearly two thirds of the country’s receipt from that sector. To further enhance Penang’s position as one of the most preferred healthcare destinations, the Penang State Government hopes to work hand-in-hand with medical providers like Penang Adventist Hospital to continue delivering top-notch patient care not only to the locals or within the ASEAN region alone, but to patients the world over.
10. In closing, I would like to thank Dr Wesley Toh and the organising committee for inviting me share this milestone with you. Serve the local community and international visitors well in their healthcare needs.
11. On behalf of the State Government, we wish you a happy 90th Anniversary.
12. Thank you.