Medical services move into Shaw Centre

The new Raffles Medical Centre offers services in five areas, including traditional Chinese medicine and health screening. The $4 million centre will open officially on July 23.
The new Raffles Medical Centre offers services in five areas, including traditional Chinese medicine and health screening. The $4 million centre will open officially on July 23.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

RAFFLES Medical Group unveiled its new $4 million multi-disciplinary medical centre yesterday.

Based at Shaw Centre mall, the private healthcare centre offers services in five areas: traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), family medicine, health screening, dental services and specialists.

Raffles Medical Centre is already open to patients, though it will open officially on July 23. Spread over two levels and 17,000 sq ft - approximately the size of 14 five-room HDB flats - the centre opened its doors to the media yesterday.

Dr Prem Kumar Nair, managing director of Singapore Healthcare for Raffles Medical Group, said this will be the first time the company's TCM group is operating outside its main clinic in Raffles Hospital, with demand for such services rising.

Explaining why it chose to open a medical centre rather than a new hospital, he said the latter would have cost $200 million to $300 million to build, as opposed to $4 million for a medical centre which is "more cost-efficient".

He added: "We wanted to avoid unnecessary replication of services in the hospital. What we want here are specialists."

Allaying concerns about the relatively small number of shoppers who visit the mall, he said: "The healthcare business is different from retail as it is destination- based and people will come because they have an appointment."

The centre will have more than 30 specialists, with at least one from each field present at all times. Dr Nair said the company will prevent its specialists from being spread too thinly by hiring more to cope with patient loads.

The centre can handle around 500 patients a day. It will also provide a free shuttle service to Raffles Hospital in order to transport patients who require more intensive treatment there.

timgoh@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'Medical services move into Shaw Centre'. Print Edition | Subscribe