Mall operator, Thai healthcare group launch Yangon hospital on high demand

Myanmar mall operator Ga Mone Pwint Co has teamed up with Thailand’s Thonburi Healthcare Group to start a new facility, Ar Yu International Hospital, in Yangon, where demand for high quality standards of healthcare is rising fast.

The new US$70 million hospital, which will open in mid August, is the first such project in Yangon for both Ga Mone Pwint and Thonburi.“Ar Yu will function as a general hospital but we will also have cardiologists and neurologists on board,” said Dr Nwe Nu Wai, business development manager at Ar Yu International Hospital.

The move also arrives at a time when local living standards are improving, bringing about higher demand for quality healthcare.

“From previous surveys, we understand that the majority of Myanmar people are more comfortable seeking medication from the local drug store or at private clinics than consult with specialists at big hospitals with modern diagnostic equipment,” said Dr Watson Aphiwatanakoon, CEO of Ar Yu International Hospital.

Now, more realise the need for proper and timely diagnosis and the risks involved in delaying hospital treatment. As such, the new hospital will target patients who would otherwise seek medical treatment abroad.

Rising demand

Demand is expected to be high, especially among those in the middle and upper class brackets, who now travel abroad to Thailand, Singapore and India to seek medical care. Currently, around $250 million is spent on outbound medical tourism per year, according to the 2018 report by the Oxford Business Group (OBG).

“We will position ourselves as the leading hospital providing facilities, medical equipment and services which are comparable to Bangkok’s international hospitals,” Dr Watson said.

Ar Yu International Hospital will open on Kyaik Ka San Road in Tamwe township. The 11-storey hospital will offer 200 beds, eight operation theatres, 16 intensive care units and 350 parking lots. There will also be an emergency physician team on duty 24/7, up to four generators providing a total of 1000 KVA, a modern fire protection system and an electronic medical record system from DXC Thailand.

This will make Ar Yu International Hospital one of the largest private healthcare providers in Myanmar. . About 90percent of private hospitals in the country have fewer than 100 beds, and are mainly concentrated in the urban areas of Yangon and Mandalay, according to OBG’s research.

Expansion plans

There will still be plenty of room for further expansion.“While we will not be able to cater to cancer patients in the first phase of the project, there are plans to build radiation rooms and other facilities during the second phase,” said Dr Nwe Nu Wai.

. “Our hospital still needs to improve and there is also much room for expansion in the future. People could be healthier if the services are better. Major causes of death vary and the number of deaths as a result of traffic accidents, heart and lung diseases and infectious diseases is high in Myanmar,” said Dr Watson.

Meanwhile, the government has been increasing its budget allocation for the health sector. In 2017-18, it spent around K1 trillion on healthcare, which is up 25pc compared to 2016-17 and represents around 5.2pc of the total budget, according to government data.

In 2014, it also allowed up to 70pc foreign ownership in clinics and hospitals. Ga Mone Pwint first signed the agreement to start Ar Yu International Hospital with Thonburi in 2015.

While the Thais will hold a 10 percent initial stake in Ar Yu International Hospital for now, it will raise its stake to 40pc as the facility expands.

In the meantime, Ga Mone Pwint will continue to run its main mall business and is currently in the process of building a wholesale market in Mingalar Taung Nyunt township in Yangon.

The company plans to open retail businesses in other townships and cities in the months ahead. It also runs a hotel near Aung Mingalar Highway Gate in Mingalardon township, Yangon.

Source: Myanmar Times

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