By: Chua Chin Leng
Thomson Medical Centre is going big in Johore Bahru. So were many other hospitals from around the world. JB is going to be a boom town, with the best medical facilities without the outrageous charges in Singapore. JB is going to be a threat to Singapore’s medical hub if things go on as planned.
There is really no competition if JB can bring in the best doctors to helm the medical industry and will provide a good alternative to Singapore and Bangkok as the region’s medical hub.
It has all the comparative advantages to make medical industry a success in JB. Get the formula right, the quality of the medical professions and the services, and JB will be on its way to replace Singapore. There are conditions to overtake Singapore and it is not a given.
Patients from all over the world would have a good alternative to the Singapore brand at a more affordable price. Singaporeans too would stand to benefit from this option. The only drawback is transportation. Sinai Airport would be pushed to the limits with medical tourist arrival. It needs better connections to other parts of the world, even to/from Singapore.
Singaporeans would have a little problem accessing the medical facilities in JB. In non critical cases, when time is not a problem, JB is a good choice. For critically ill patients, there is a caveat.
They may not survive the jams at the Causeway, stuck for a couple of hours or more could be death threatening. Unless of course the JB govt could open a special fast lane for medical patients to pass, otherwise it is no go for critically ill patients to test their fate in the Causeway jam.
The jam and security and the causeway fees are obvious trouble in the way of the medical industry. It would be a pity if everything is in favour of JB, to flourish as a new international hub but be held hostage due to a few silly problems and failed.
Would Malaysia do anything to make JB a success or do silly things to ruin the hopes and dreams of many entrepreneurs that pour in their money to want JB to be the next commercial and industrial centre, including the next medical hub?