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Think Healthcare, Think KPJ

The factors behind KPJ Healthcare being the leading healthcare provider in Malaysia


It is said that one of the hallmarks of a progressive and prosperous nation is its level and standards of health care. Since 1981, health care services in Malaysia have been enhanced by the presence of KPJ Healthcare Berhad, which with a network of 18 hospitals in Malaysia and 6 overseas makes it the largest health care service providerin Malaysia.
However, it's not just its size that makes KPJ Healthcare a by-word for excellence in its sector, but also its commitment to providing excellent specialist health services. In the following pages, Technology Business Review tracks the progress of KPJ Healthcare, from its humble beginnings to its current position at the top of Malaysia's health care management industry.
Think KPJ.

Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah, the Managing Director of KPJ Healthcare.

The story of KPJ Healthcare's beginnings can be traced to the state of Johor in the southernmost part of Peninsula Malaysia, when the KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital opened up its doors on the 10th of May, 1981. Managed by Kumpulan Perubatan (Johor) Sdn. Bhd. (KPJSB), which is in turn a subsidiary of Johor Corporation - the state investment organisation KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital soon established itself as the definitive centre for medical excellence in Johor.
For instance, it was one of the first hospitals in Johor to boast a CT scanner, which was installed in November 1985, as well as being the first in Johor to have a diagnostic imaging facility. Its haemodialysis centre, set up in September 1987, was and is also one of the largest in the state. Further developments include becoming the first hospital in Johor to offer neurosurgery services in January 1989, and a Lithotripsy Centre in May 1990. Basing on the financial track records performance, KPJ was listed on Kuala Lumpur Stocks Exchange with an impressive debut which was 88 times oversubscribed.
Around the same time when KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital was established, further north in Ipoh, Perak, a group of medical specialists decided to band together to form a private hospital, which opened its doors on the 10th of October 1981, as the Ipoh Specialist Centre. Like, Johor Specialist Hospital, the KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital soon proved itself to be at the forefront of the medical discipline in its respective state. As such, in 1989, it was the subject of a successful take-over bid by KPJSB - thus setting the way for the health care giant that is KPJ Healthcare Berhad.
KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ), was listed on the Main Board of the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) in November 1994, with two hospitals in its stable, Johor Specialist Hospital and Ipoh Specialist Hospital. This momentous event marked two very important milestones in KPJ and KLSE history as KPJ became the first healthcare company to be listed on the Main Board of the bourse, and the first JCorp homegrown company to be listed on the Main Board as well.

KPJ Hospitals boast advanced state of art medical equipment for the benefit of patients.

There are currently 18 hospitals in Malaysia managed by KPJ. There are of course, the Group's five Accredited hospitals, KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital, KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital, KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, and the KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital. KPJ's other hospitals - which are all pursuing Accredited status - are Tawakal Hospital, Kuantan Specialist Hospital, Puteri Specialist Hospital, Bukit Mertajam Specialist Hospital, Perdana Specialist Hospital, Kedah Medical Centre, Kuching Specialist Hospital, Seremban Specialist Hospital, Hospital Penawar, Damai Specialist Hospital, Sentosa Medical Centre, KPJ Kajang Specialist Hospital and Taiping Medical Centre.
As we can see, KPJ has medical centres in major areas across Malaysia - stretching from Johor in the south to Penang in the north, and including the Klang Valley and Ipoh,
as well as East Malaysia. However, KPJ is not just a leader in Malaysia, as is evident by the number of foreign hospitals it has under its management. These include the Rumah Sakit Medika Permata Hijau, Rumah Sakit Selasih, and Rumah Sakit Bumi Serpong Damai in Indonesia, United Hospital Limited in Bangladesh, and the Jeddah Clinic Hospital and the New Jeddah Clinic Hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Apart from healthcare management, KPJ is also involved in healthcare related and support services. For example, Healthcare Technical Services (HTS) deals with hospital project management and construction, Pharmaserv Alliances acts as a buyer and negotiating house for pharmaceutical products, Lablink manages the laboratories of all the hospitals in the KPJ network, and KPJ/PNC International Allied Health Science College Services, which is a leading nursing college in Malaysia.

Furthermore, KPJ was also the first healthcare organization in Malaysia to set up a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) - the Al-'Aqar KPJ REIT, which has enabled the company to unlock total assets worth RM632m, with the 1st exercise completed at RM462m and 2nd exercise completed at RM170m, thus enabling the company access to funding without having to seek bank loans. It is also the first healthcare REIT registered in Asia, first global Islamic REIT, and the first Islamic healthcare REIT.
The REIT has also received several awards such as the inaugural Deal of the Year Award in the Islamic REIT category by
Islamic Finance News, and the Islamic Finance Award in the Most Innovative Deal Category by Euromoney.

It has recently started the 3rd exercise to inject seven more hospitals' buildings and a nursing college building to the Al-'Aqar KPJ REIT for RM296m, an exercise that is expected to complete by the end of the year, and which will allow the Group to unlock funds that will be used for further investments.
The success of the REIT is just one example of the excellent financial performance that KPJ has enjoyed under the management of its Managing Director, Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah Sheikh Bakir, which when combined with its expertise in the healthcare sector shows why KPJ is the leader in its field. This is borne out by the fact that in 2007, it managed to achieve RM1 b in revenue, thus breaking the RMlb mark for the first time ever.
At the same time, the Group has also enjoyed steady growth, with a cumulative average growth rate of 28.2% over the past five years - a further testament to its excellence.

True spirit of


Further evidence of KPJ's record of excellence can be seen through the awards it has received throughout the years. In 2007 and 2008, KPJ Healthcare and its hospitals received over 17 different awards and certificates in recognition for its achievements.
As a group. KPJ was acknowledged for their achievements and innovations in healthcare. In 2007, KPJ received the Technology Business Review ASEAN Awards for their superb performances in finances, innovations, adaptation of technology, customer service
relationship, human resource management and corporate social responsibility.
In 2008, KPJ received another distinctive award which was The BrandLaureate Award in Healthcare (Best Brand). The award honours KPJ for practicing brand excellence in Malaysia and globally. Being the leader in Malaysian healthcare industry, KPJ was seen as a deserving brand amongst multinational, public-listed and government-linked companies that have shown best practices in branding and meets the requirements of the Asia Pacific Brand Foundation (APBF). KPJ was selected based on a 300-point selection criteria covering brand strategy, culture, integrated brand communication, brand equity and brand performance.

KPJ received another award this year, the South East Asia Private Hospital Group Growth Strategy Leadership Award from Frost & Sullivan for being recognized as the best in class company for their innovation and perseverance.
KPJ hospitals were also recognized for their many achievements and strive continuous efforts to deliver quality healthcare services according to international standards.
For instance, in 2008 alone, 2 of 18 KPJ hospitals in Malaysia, KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital and KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital received the National Occupational Safety and Health Awards Gold and Silver, respectively, from the National Occupational Safety and Health Council for their success
in maintaining the sahigh levels of safety and quality in their hospitals, as well as their efforts in reaching for greater heights in work environment safety.
KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital received the Asian Hospital Management Awards, which is an accepted Hospital Management Awards program for Asia Pacific, on August 31 st August 2007 from Faber Healthtronics, Thailand for carrying out best hospital practices and have implemented outstanding and innovative projects and programs.
KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital and Bukit Mertajam Specialist Hospital were the recipients of the National Award for Management Accounting
Nursing with a personal touch - KPJ's nurses are renowned for their dedication and care to their patients.
- Certificate of Merit. KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, Kuantan Specialist Hospital, Puteri Specialist Hospital, and Tawakal Hospital received the Enterprise 50 from SMIDEC, which gives recognition to Malaysia's leading home-grown enterprises. Furthermore, KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital, KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, KPJ Selangor Specialist Hospital, Ipoh Specialist Hospital, and KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital were awarded MSQH Accreditation in recognition for safety and continuous quality in health services.
KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital was also a recipient of the Export Excellence Award from MATRADE, the National Occupational Safety & Health Excellence Award from the Ministry of Human Resources, and the SME BrandLaureate Awards. The Certificate of Excellence from the Malaysia Productivity Corporation was given to Puteri Specialist Hospital, Selangor Medical Centre received the Inaugural Service Excellence Challenge Award, and Johor Specialist Hospital was named a finalist at the Inaugural ASEAN Business Awards 2007. Johor Specialist Hospital was also the runner-up at the Asian Hospital Management Award.
KPJ has also won recognition for its CSR activities, as evidenced by it being named first in the Marketplace Category at the Starbiz-ICR Malaysia Corporate Responsibility Award.

Not only does KPJ have come to the best medical equipment in the country, it also has come to the best minds in the medical science as well.


With over 24 hospitals in its network, along with its other related healthcare services, KPJ is able to boast the competitive advantage in the healthcare industry, which is further supported by its 27-years of experience in the healthcare management industry.
The Group is also actively involved in establishing an integrated and comprehensive healthcare service delivery system, as well as in disease prevention and control. This can be seen through the expansion of wellness centres in its hospitals, and other activities such as preventive programmes. As such, KPJ Healthcare's vision for private healthcare delivery services in Malaysia is in line with the Malaysian Government's ambitions under the 9th Malaysia Plan, thus further lending proof to it being the leader in the industry.
What gives KPJ Healthcare its advantage is, without a doubt, its strengths in both its hardware and software. In other words, its infrastructure and technologies, as well as the quality of its staff -both medical and non-medical. As mentioned by Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah, "adapting to new state-of-the-art equipment and facilities is not longer an option but has become necessary for KPJ to compete globally."

As such, the facilities offered at KPJ's hospitals are on-par and sometimes even better than with many internationally renowned hospitals. The hospitals offer operation theatres for general and cardiac surgeries, as well as day-care surgeries, intensive care services such as general, cardiac and coronary, and paediatric ICUs. Further services and
facilities found in KPJ's hospitals are cardiac services such as angiography and angioplasty, diagnostic services such as audiology, stress test, lung function tests, extracorporeal Shockwave lithotripsy, urodynamic study, EEG, colposcopy, and sleep diagnostic study.
They also offer haemodialysis services, health screening, and radiology and imaging services. These include X-rays, MRIs, CT scan (including 64 slice CT scan), ultrasonography, mammo-graphy, bone densitometry, fluoroscopy, endoscopy, oro-gastro-duodenoscopy, colonoscopy, RCP and also speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other physiotherapy services.
KPJ Healthcare's commitment to using the best medical technology over the years can be seen in examples such as the oncology centre and cardiac centre in Johor Specialist Hospital. Ipoh Specialist Hospital became the first hospital in Perak to offer cardiac catheterization services and surgery, and also the first to offer neurological services.
KPJ Healthcare already has plans to continue investing in medical technology to ensure the Group stands at the forefront of quality services, including for the upgrading and procurement of the latest, state-of-the-art equipment.

Of course having all the best equipment in the world counts for naught if the right personnel isn't there. KPJ to date has more than 6,000 staff located throughout its group of hospitals and companies.
KPJ's management is committed to human capital and intellectual development, firmly believing in the principle that it is the PEOPLE who are an organisation's largest asset.
As a Learning Organisation, KPJ believes in opening up new pathways for its staff at all levels to upgrade their abilities, knowledge and skills. Collaborations are entered into with reputable local and foreign varsities, to conduct programmes from Certificates, to Diplomas, Degrees and Masters levels, as well as PhDs soon. Participation is from all levels among the managerial and professional staff. Further to that, there are also diverse other opportunities for medical consultants to enhance their knowledge; for example the KPJ Annual Medical Conference/Workshops for the Group's management team members, corporate professionals, medical consultants as well as nursing and allied health professionals, to interact and discuss the latest advancements relevant to their fields. KPJ's medical consultants are also encouraged to undertake R&D work to further contribute to the world of medicine as well as to fully realise their own individual potential.
KPJ also believes in sharing knowledge with others, and hence the management is also very supportive of the medical consultants' efforts and contributions to teach nurses and hospital staff on matters concerning treatments being offered, etc.
KPJ also prides itself on being able to have on board more than 650 of Malaysia's best medical consultants. In fact, such is the prestige of the Group that a number of top Malaysian doctors go to it after they finish their tenure in public hospitals.
Among them are renowned names like Tan Sri Yahya Awang, who is the country's leading heart surgeon, and Dato' Dr. Jalil Jidon - a Reconstructive and Plastic Surgeon who is sought after even by patients from the UK and Australia, as well as many others who are simply too many to mention here. KPJ also sends selected doctors overseas for further specialist training, which enables them to acquire new skills and learn new surgical techniques to better serve the patients.
At this point, it would only be right to talk about PNC, which is the first private nursing college in the country, and which is a reflection of KPJ's second core business - education. Since it first set up in 1991, PNC has been produced responsible for training more than 2,000 graduates.
Furthermore, the college has also built strong links with renowned universities in Australia and the UK, and in doing so have enhanced the training of the nurses.
Recently, the college acquired 6.8 hectares worth of land in Negeri Sembilan worth RM26m to expand its campus and hostel. With this improved infrastructure, KPJ hopes that PNC will be able to train more than 8,000 students in health-care related disciplines, and will play a part in the Malaysian Government's aim to make Malaysia a hub for healthcare and education.
Further to that, KPJ has always been sought after by local and overseas hospitals for its expertise in managing hospitals. KPJ management expertise in running hospitals in Jeddah, Saudi
Arabia and Dhaka, Bangladesh are a great testimonial of KPJ credentials and capability in the healthcare industry.

KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital

KPJ also embraces Transformational Leadership (TL), a process where leaders and followers engage in a mutual process of 'raising one another to higher levels of morality and motivaion'.
KPJ's Transformational Leaders motivate and inspire their teams, working hard to achieve shared goals that serve the Group's interests. Followers or team members at all levels take pride at being part of the organisation and they are able to see things from a more macro perspective. This is part of KPJ's own efforts to go beyond the extra mile, achieving beyond average targets and performance.
KPJ has already implemented measures to ensure that the Transformational Leadership culture is strongly embedded throughout the Group, figuring prominently in all aspects of the Group's operations. With this strategic aspiration in place, KPJ will be fully populated by individuals who are always inspired to give their best.

Medical tourism is something that the   Malaysian   Government   has
been actively promoting, and KPJ has proven itself to be a leader in that field. One should look at the prospects of Malaysia for medical tourism, which is reflected in the report by US online investment news service NuWire Investor, which ranks Malaysia third amongst the world's top medical tourism destinations, led by Panama and Brazil and followed by Costa Rica and India.
In Malaysia, medical tourism has been actively promoted by Government agencies and ministries such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), MATRADE (the promotion Board under MITI), the Ministry of Health, and the Malaysian Tourism Board.
It has been estimated that medical tourism in Malaysia was responsible for bringing in 360,000 patients or RM300m in revenue in 2007, a figure which shows the strength and potential of the market. Therefore, with its size and network of hospitals, Malaysia has the potential to expand even further in this field.
And in this respect, KPJ is doing its best to ensure that Malaysia does reach that goal. According to Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah, KPJ's hospitals have also seen a steady influx of foreign patients seeking not just curative, but also preventive and lifestyle treatments. The top five treatments being heart, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopaedic, cancer and neurology.

KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital.

Furthermore, the Group has also undertaken efforts to promote itself and its services to the overseas markets through participation in road shows and exhibitions through collaborations with the abovementioned government agen-cies, especially in markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Middle East, as well as at the World Medical Tourism Congress in Germany, Cyprus and United States. The Group has also introduced 'The KPJ Way' initiative, which provides a framework for the frontline staff at KPJ that has enabled them to better deal with foreign patients.
Other means that the Group has shown proactive steps in catering for the needs of foreign patients include employing multi-lingual employees who are able to converse in Japanese, Korean, and Arabic. Furthermore, KPJ Ampang Puteri Hospital also boasts a Korean Liaison Office, which has enabled it to deal with the growing demands from the Korean market.
KPJ recorded a 410% increase in health tourism patients in 2007 compared to 2006, with a total revenue of RM18.3m compared to RM 12.9m the year before. This was due by highlighting their high level of clinical excellence and competitive pricing. They currently receive patients from Australia, UK, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar.
Furthermore, KPJ hospitals that are participating in medical tourism have seen their revenue increased by 100% from 2006 to 2007. Whereas Malaysia itself is strong in this field, owing to factors such as low medical
costs, English proficiency amongst workers, beautiful and engaging sceneries and sights (perfect for tourists), and of course shopping; KPJ has added value to what the country already has to offer. And the value that KPJ has added is expertise, experience, and quality service.

One thing that KPJ prides itself on is that it is a socially responsible corporation that is actively given back to society through a comprehensive corporate social responsibility programme. This is in line with the belief in KPJ that social work and business need not be exclusive, but have to be mutually inclusive.
Being a healthcare provider, it is only natural that KPJ's CSR activities are heavily focused on the same field. This can be seen through its activities in Klinik Waqaf An-Nur, which is part of Kumpulan Waqaf An-Nur - of which Datin Paduka Siti Sa'diah is a director. With eight clinics across Malaysia and a Hospital Waqaf located in Pasir Gudang, Johor, the Klinik
Waqaf An-Nur provides medical and clinical services to the less fortunate in Malaysia regardless of race or religion. Through this initiative, KPJ has managed to treat 400,000 patients who only needed to pay just RMS for treatment. Furthermore, KPJ has also provided dialysis machines for underprivileged kidney patients, with treatment costing a very reasonable RM80. To meet the increasing demand, KPJ has upgraded the clinic in Pasir Gudang into the 30 bedded Waqaf Hospital.
Furthermore, KPJ has also been active in educating the public about their health. This is best seen in the programme Medik TV, which is a weekly health education show that helps create public awareness on health matters, and At-Tijarah, a business programme.
KPJ's commitment to CSR is in line with its branding as a trustworthy, credible, reliable organization that has quality and consistency. Furthermore, it is believed that such efforts will help boost the morale of the staff, as they know they are doing something to help better people's lives.
Since the first hospital was opened in 1981, KPJ has established itself as the
definitive leader in healthcare services in Malaysia. Whether it is in terms of innovative
technologies used in treatments, or quality of medical staff, or even the genuine care
and concern that the nurses have for patients - KPJ has led and is leading the way. Under the leadership of Datin Paduka Siti Sa 'diah, it has become synonymous with quality healthcare in all aspects of the word. Simply put, healthcare is KPJ and KPJ is healthcare.