The Jakarta Post
Malaysia-based Kumpulan Penguatan Johor (KPJ) Penang Hospital has opened a representative office in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, amid an influx of Indonesians seeking medical treatment in the neighboring country.
Banda Aceh Mayor Aminullah Usman said the city’s partnership with KJP Penang Hospital was expected to accommodate the region’s needs for high-quality health services, as well as boost tourism.
“I’d like to thank [the investors]. I have high hopes for the future opening of a KPJ Penang Hospital branch in Banda Aceh,” Aminullah said as quoted by Antara news agency during a launch for the representative office, which was attended by various executives from the hospital and local officials in Banda Aceh on Saturday.
According to Aminullah, the representative office would offer special accommodation options to the Aceh public seeking medical treatment in Malaysia.
“The office would provide the people of Aceh with immediate access to transportation, hotels, and communication with doctors as soon as they arrive in Penang,” he said.
KPJ Penang Hospital chief executive director Encik Zabidi said the hospital would provide free pick-up services from the airport to the hospital, as well as free hotel stays to patients from Aceh and their families.
The hospital previously struck a deal with city-owned Meuraxa Hospital and Dr Zainoel Abidin Hospital in Banda Aceh.
“We hope the partnership with the Banda Aceh administration will also improve the quality of city-owned hospitals,” Encik said.
Aminullah said the city administration would always be at the forefront of accessible health services in Aceh. Furthermore, he said he would welcome foreign investors seeking opportunities in various sectors, including health, education, fisheries and tourism as an effort to bolster the city’s economy.
Many Indonesian patients suffering from chronic illnesses have flocked to hospitals in neighboring Penang in recent years.
Osrinikita Zubhana, the Indonesian Consulate General spokesperson in Penang, said several Penang-based hospitals such as Gleneagles Hospital had been popular among Indonesian patients largely arriving from Jakarta and Medan.
“Gleneagles Hospital is one of the hospitals in Penang which have regularly treated an influx of Indonesian patients. The hospital boasts a number of renowned medical experts and specialists,” she said, as quoted by Antara news agency.
She added that other medical facilities in Penang, such as Adventist Hospital, Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Island Hospital and Loh Guan Iye Hospital, were also popular choices among Indonesian patients. (rfa/evi)