The Star

Perak to have comprehensive health and medical retreat

By ROSHIDI ABU SAMAH
roshidi@thestar.com.my

PERAK will be on the medical tourism map of the world when a comprehensive and integrated health and medical retreat is set up in Ipoh.

Mutiara Healthcare Sdn Bhd will invest RM1.35bil (US$450mil) to establish the Perak Medi Super Corridor (PMSC).

Company group managing director Dr Mohd Ghouse Mohd Noor said the proposed project boast an integrated component which included a specialist hospital, a wellness centre for various evidence-based complementary medicine, and a health resort comprising hotels, service apartments and chalets.

The project funded by the Elaf Bank of Bahrain will be on a 468ha site along the Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands road.

Working hand in hand: Dr Mohd Ghouse (left) and Dr Gill exchanging documents at the MoU signing ceremony witnessed by Nadzri

Medical tourism, he said, was one of the largest income contributors to the country’s revenue.

“All these while medical tourists were exposed to Penang and Malacca as the main destinations with the former receiving the highest influx of visiting patients.

“Perak is just a one-and-a-half hour drive from Penang and is easily accessible,” he said, adding that they hoped to divert all backlog cases in Penang to Perak when the PMSC was ready.

Dr Mohd Ghouse was speaking to reporters after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Middlesex University, London in Ipoh on Monday for the setting up of a branch of the university campus on the site of the PMSC project.

Dr Mohd Ghouse represented Mutiara Healthcare and the university’s regional director for the Middle-East, Africa and Pakistan, Prof Dr R. Gill signed on behalf of Middlesex University.

Witnessing the MoU signing for the state government was Manjoi assemblyman Datuk Nadzri Ismail.

The agreement, he said, marked the first step of a serious effort to provide Malaysians and other neighbouring countries the best of British education.

“It is hoped that the PMSC will not only be known for its excellence in medical and hospitality but as the home of the best university in South-East Asia — the Middlesex University Perak,” he said.

Phase One of the project, he said, would focus on the 120-bedded hospital, the wellness centre and health resort, and the branch campus of the university.

Dr Mohd Ghouse also said that the university’s branch campus would be set up on 40ha, of which 20ha would be developed under the first phase.

He said Phase One was expected to be completed within 30 months after the ground breaking ceremony by the first quarter of next year.

Prof Gill said besides the planned campus in Ipoh, the university had several other campuses in Dubai, Mauritius and Noida, India.

The faculties at the Ipoh campus would be the School of Health and Social Sciences, School of Engineering and Information Sciences, School of Arts and Education, and School of Business and Law.

“Currently, the university has 22,000 undergraduates from 130 countries at its London campus,” he added.

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/7/27/metroperak/9172203&sec=metroperak