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The Star - KPJ Healthcare Bhd does not expect the private healthcare industry in the country to be severely impacted by the global economic slowdown.


Chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said the industry could instead benefit as those previously seeking treatment in developed countries would be looking at other destinations.

For instance, during the good times, the rich including Malaysians usually went to countries such as Australia and Singapore but they would probably now get treatment locally.

“Not all businesses are going to be affected by the crisis and one of them is private healthcare,” Ali said after the company EGM recently.

Shareholders approved the injection of KPJ’s eight properties into Al-Aqar KPJ REIT Bhd for RM293mil to be satisfied partly by cash of RM176mil and 123 million new Al-Aqar KPJ REIT shares at 95 sen each.

They are the Seremban Specialist Hospital, Taiping Medical Centre, Kota Kinabalu Specialist Hospital, Bukit Mertajam Specialist Hospital, KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital, Tawakal Hospital existing building, Tawakal Specialist Hospital and KPJ International College of Nursing and Health Sciences hotel and office building in Johor Baru.

Ali said with the injection of the properties, Al-Aqar KPJ REIT’s assets were now valued at RM1bil, making it the biggest REIT management company in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, KPJ Healthcare managing director Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir said foreign patients contributed RM18mil to the company’s revenue last year.

“We are looking at acquiring other hotels in Johor Baru to be injected into Al-Aqar KPJ REIT and also hotels in other parts of the country where our hospitals are,” she said.