KUALA LUMPUR, 4 MARCH 2009 Malaysian government hospitals need help to meet an expected 25 per cent increase in patients, says business software firm SAP AG.
Speaking at the global Healthcare & Information Systems Society conference (HIMSS AsiaPac09) held in Kuala Lumpur, SAP AG senior vice president, healthcare, John Papandrea, says: In June 2008, Malaysian Ministry of Health took steps to meet an expected 25 per cent increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at government hospitals.
In today's challenging economic climate and with the government subsidising 98 per cent of costs in public hospitals, the demand for good and affordable healthcare from government hospitals will continue and likely increase, adds Papandrea.
In delivering this service, Malaysian government hospitals are faced with two enormous challenges: The logistics of distributing medicines and materials throughout over 128 hospitals, 30,969 beds and 1,909 clinics; and the scarcity of doctors and specialists with 47 per cent of these posts being vacant.
The recession is not impacting the healthcare sector as badly as others, he said. People still get sick and need care. This drives the life sciences and the pharmaceuticals industries, which use SAP for healthcare.
Foreign patients in Malaysia
SAP Asia Pacific Japan's industry principle, healthcare, industries & solutions group (ISG), Andy David, says, SAP is reaching out to the Malaysian healthcare sector with SAP for Healthcare a portfolio of state-of-the-art software solutions tailored to the specific standards, processes, and challenges of the healthcare industry. Developed in collaboration with major healthcare providers from around the world, SAP for Healthcare provides the tools that healthcare providers need to design, improve, and control their organisation; and contains specialised modules that address human capital management.
SAP for Healthcare is also a bonus to private healthcare providers, says David. In 2007, 341,288 foreign patients sought medical treatment in Malaysia, amounting to RM253.84 (US$68.43) million in revenue. This market is expected to grow at around 30 per cent a year until 2010 to a predicted RM2.2 (US$0.60) billion. Malaysia is ranked 3rd in the world for both quality and affordability of medical care, and with political instability in Thailand and high costs in Singapore, private hospitals in Malaysia have an opportunity now to capture an even greater share of the medical tourism market.
To achieve this, private hospitals must pursue even greater business efficiencies and careful cost controls while continuing to deliver high quality healthcare, says David. SAP for Healthcare can provide these organisations with industry specific analytics and financial tools giving them the means to improve their competitive advantage and realise greater revenues.
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