BY ERDA KHURSYIAH BASIR

Since 2010, Ilyas Kaoy Hasan has successfully undergone a heart bypass surgery and two angioplasty procedures at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

To date, the 65-year-old businessman from Jakarta, Indonesia, has been making regular visits for his follow-up treatments.

“Right from the start, I felt at home because of the good service. I’ve been coming here for almost 10 years now and I’m satisfied with the service. It’s not crowded here and most importantly, the charges are not that steep,” he told Bernama when met at the waiting room of IJN’s private clinic here, recently.

He was there for a follow-up treatment and was, as usual, accompanied by his eldest son Indra Gunawan Ilyas Kaoy, 43.

Ilyas Kaoy is among the increasing number of foreigners who are seeking medical treatment at private hospitals in Malaysia which, according to the Medical Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), ranks among the best providers of healthcare services in Southeast Asia.

IJN’s expertise in cardiovascular and thoracic care is internationally recognised and in November 2009, was accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), a world-renowned authority in healthcare whose accreditation is considered the gold standard in global healthcare.

The institute was accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health in November 2005. This accreditation emphasises safety and continuous quality improvement to healthcare facilities and services in compliance with Malaysian standards.

Indra Gunawan said his father’s doctor in Indonesia had advised him to seek treatment at IJN.

“He (doctor) told us IJN’s services, equipment and facilities were all good and that it has competent specialists and its charges were also reasonable,” he said, adding that IJN was the first hospital where his father had sought treatment for his heart disease.

Among the factors that drew Ilyas Kaoy to Malaysia to seek
treatment were the similarities in the way of life, language, customs and culture.

“Food was not a problem as Indonesian and Malay cuisines are almost similar,” said Indra Gunawan.

Also awaiting his turn to see the doctor was Paul Wibowo Hartono, 39, a businessman from Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia.

It was his first visit to the hospital for a cardiac check-up.

“It was my father-in-law who recommended IJN as he has come here for an examination,” he said.

Rating IJN’s services as good and comprehensive, he said the staff on duty were also efficient.

Asked to comment on why IJN was the top pick of medical travellers, its consultant cardiologist Datuk Dr Ahmad Khairuddin Mohamed Yusof said the IJN brand itself could be the main reason for their confidence in the facility.

“There are other medical centres in Singapore, Johor and Melaka offering the same services. They are, perhaps, taking into consideration our more competitive prices, strategic location in the middle of the city and hospitality,” he said.

IJN has an International Patient Centre (IPC) to facilitate preparations for its foreign patients.

In 2018, a total of 1,564 foreign patients received treatment at IJN under the outpatient category and up to June this year, the number of such patients totalled 672.

Meanwhile, in 2018 a total of 246 were warded at IJN and up to June this year, 140.

Besides Indonesia, IJN also receives patients from Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Somalia, China, Oman, South Korea, Iran, Australia, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Hong Kong, Denmark, New Zealand, Italy, Senegal, Maldives and France.

Among the services rendered by IPC are assisting patients with hospital admissions and discharges, meeting and greeting them at the airport, and providing airport transfer, interpreter services if needed and support services and arrangements relating to the patient’s medical needs. – Bernama