Name (from left to right): Anthony Lim, Dr. Khaing Pann Wut Yee, Alvin Neo
Parkway Hospitals Singapore operates overseas offices in more than 20 cities worldwide. The Parkway Patient Assistance Centre in Myanmar provides one-stop services for patients who wish to receive medical treatment in Parkway Hospitals in Singapore. We held an interview session with Alvin Neo, Chief Marketing Officer, Anthony Lim Head, International Marketing representative for Parkway Hospitals Singapore and Dr. Khaing Pann Wut Yee, Country Manager of the Parkway Patient Assistance Centre (Myanmar).[paypal]
When did you set up your Myanmar office and what made you decide it was time to do so?
Anthony: We established our Myanmar office in 2008 in Yangon and in 2009 in Mandalay. I think, at that time, Myanmar was at a very early stage of development and, of course, as a Singapore Medical provider, we came here to serve the community by bringing the best medical and consultation to the market.
What are the most challenging issues when it comes to conducting your business?
Khine: When we were setting up in 2008 we had a lot of restrictions when it came to communicating with Singapore. But, after a while, the country started to develop and we had more access communicating with overseas countries and people here became more exposed to overseas medical travels.
Alvin: We have seen a huge change in the last three years in Myanmar – the opening up of the borders and technology here becoming more developed. In our early days, more effort was needed if locals wanted to go abroad to get treated in terms of their visa, payments and such. Things were difficult on the patient and on the patient’s family. In addition, the lack of public understanding about advanced, extensive medical care has been a challenge. We have to start by educating the public.
What kind of services do you offer at the centre?
Anthony: The service at the centre, I would say, is kind of a one-stop shop service, which actually starts by educating the patient about their medical options, then to finding solutions. We have all the professionals here able to advise on the right diagnosis and also help in preparing the patient physically and mentally for the trip, arranging the trip to Singapore and helping the patient with the appointment. We even have staff to accompany the patient all the way during the doctor’s appointment so that the patient will feel safe even in a foreign land. We also make sure the patient has no trouble language-wise in consulting with the doctors by having an interpreter go as well. So, it is a one-stop service arrangement. At the end of the day, what we want is the entire journey for the patients to be seamless from the moment they decide to use us until they recover.
How do customers respond to your services?
What do you aim to do better? Anthony: They love it. Honestly, I think this centre has been able to grow very fast over the year because I think the services overall has been very good and therefore, we have more and more patients coming here for our help.
What is special about your patient assistance centre? How is it different from the others?
Alvin: Our mission and vision to go beyond sick care. Sick care is when you are sick, you come to us and we help you to get better. We want to provide not only sick care but also health care. Health care means even if you are not sick or, after you’ve recovered, you still need to maintain your health, you need to monitor how well you are doing. This centre is designed especially for health care, so we have health screening, and we train all the staff to keep in touch with the patient even after they come home to make sure they are still fine and monitor them time to time and keep records of all their medical indicators such as blood test results, blood pressure, blood sugar and things like that. In order to maintain your health, you have to monitor it. We offer a much more sophisticated way of maintaining health. We want to help our clients to be able to manage their health on an everyday basis. There are a few things I’d like to emphasise for the benefit of all the people in Myanmar and the readers. It is the three things that we are passionate about. The first one is clinical expertise, that is, we aim to hire the best of the best. Second is the patient’s experience. We try to remove the stress for the patient and make it a smooth journey. The final is speed. We aim to provide the service quickly, figure out what is wrong with the patient and get the treatment as soon as we can. Because time is really important. If you delay, things can get worse, especially when it comes to thing like cancer. We value our speed as a private health care provider. We can get the patient treated in Singapore in 48 hours, as soon as they decided to get treated. We can arrange them to so see a doctor, not just any doctor but a top doctor, because we have one thousand four hundred specialists in Parkway Singapore. If we can get the patient treated earlier, we can have better outcomes, better quality services and we could even save somebody’s life.
Do you have any plan to expand?
Geographically or functionally? Khine: It’s too early to say. We have our Mandalay office opening tomorrow so we can say we are expanding. We are also continually looking into expansion opportunities in Myanmar.
Where do you see the health sector in Myanmar going in the next few years?
Khine: We have a lot to develop in Myanmar, the very first thing is health manpower. It is very low in Myanmar. It is like 1:1000 comparing medical professionals with the general population. We need to develop our health infrastructure as well as our health insurance policies. If those three can be improved, it will be a lot better. I am optimistic about the health care sector in the future.[/paypal]