Patients who want to use Medisave to pay for private medical care overseas now have another hospital option not far from the Tuas Second Link.
Gleneagles Medini, which was launched yesterday, is the second hospital in Johor approved for Medisave use following Regency Specialist Hospital's approval in 2010. It joins a list of Malaysian hospitals under two healthcare providers - Health Management International and Parkway Pantai - where Medisave can be used.
However, certain conditions apply, including that patients must be referred by the healthcare firms' Singapore centres first and Medisave use is limited to hospitalisation and day surgery.
Gleneagles Malaysia chief operating officer Amir Abdullah Firdaus told a briefing yesterday that while the hospital primarily aims to serve Johor, it also makes a compelling case for international patients.
"In Malaysia, because we are all governed by the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act, we cannot charge differently and discriminate," he noted. "Singapore patients get charged exactly the same as Malaysians. In that sense, we've got a strong value proposition for international patients coming in."
Some of its hospitals, including Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, Gleneagles Penang and Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh in Malacca, continue to grow their international clientele, he added.
The RM400 million (S$132 million) Gleneagles Medini, a 300-bed tertiary hospital, opened its doors last month. It has since been visited by more than 1,000 patients, including a number of Singaporeans.
It is the 14th hospital in Malaysia built by Parkway Pantai, part of IHH Healthcare. It now has 30 multi-speciality medical consultants. A 167-suite medical office block is slated for completion next year.
The hospital has centres of excellence in cardiology, orthopaedics, women and children, oncology and ophthalmology.
Other features include 18 intensive care units, eight neonatal intensive care unit beds, six labour and delivery suites and a 24/7 emergency room. It also has some of the latest medical technology, such as a 640-slice CT scanner, believed to be the first in Johor.
Singaporean Zabariah Ahmad, 64, who is receiving treatment for her lung and heart conditions, told The Straits Times that, as a Muslim, she appreciates the cultural sensitivity of the hospital staff.
Madam Zabariah, a Malaysia permanent resident, sought treatment at Gleneagles Medini as it is near her children's homes - her daughter lives in Johor while her son is in Singapore.
With some procedures an estimated 30 per cent to 50 per cent cheaper in Malaysia, the family should save money. "The staff are also very caring," she said.