March Drill: Rahani Yaacob – General Manager (Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri)

March Drill: Rahani Yaacob – General Manager (Columbia Asia Hospital - Iskandar Puteri)

Being appointed as the General Manager of Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri (formerly Nusajaya) in 2010, Rahani brings both intellectual concept and vast experience in ensuring the best care for her patients at Columba Asia. Holding a Bachelor of Nursing International degree from University of South Australia, Rahani has 37 years of experience in the healthcare industry. In her early days, Rahani worked the rank and file of the healthcare industry and has held numerous positions including the Chief Matron of Hospital Sultan Ismail and Hospital Sultanah Aminah, State Matron of Johor under the Ministry of Health till her current position of General Manager at Columbia Asia where she oversees overall management of the hospital and is responsible for effective planning, delegating, coordinating, staffing and decision making to attain desirable results while ensuring a safe, conducive and result oriented environment for both patients and staffs.

What are the specialist services available at Columbia Asia?

Columbia Asia is an international private healthcare company incorporated in Malaysia in 1996. We started our first hospital in Sarawak in 1997. Now, Columbia Asia offers 28 medical facilities (hospitals/clinics/extended care facilities) across Asia with 11 in Malaysia.

Leading the way in private healthcare trends, we offer optimum and affordable medical services through our hospitals and clinics with a wide range of services encompassing Internal Medicine / Rheumatology, Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery / Joint Surgery / Spinal Surgery / Aging bone problems – Osteoarthritis & Osteoporosis  / “Keyhole”  Surgery / Computerised Surgery, General Surgery / Endoscopy & Keyhole Surgery / Breast Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology / Laparoscopy / Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)/ 3D & 4D Services, Ear, Nose and Throat – Head & Neck Surgery, General Paediatrics, Radiology & Basic Interventional Procedure, Urology, Anaesthesiology, Cardiology (Visiting), Psychiatric (Visiting), Ophthalmology (Visiting), Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery (Visiting) and Occupational Medicine to be specific.

How many beds does Columbia Asia have and what is your bed occupancy rate and the most frequent cases dealt with by your team?

With modern amenities and highly trained doctors and nurses, we are capable to treat most medical cases and emergencies but our frequent cases tend to come from paediatrics, general medical cases followed by orthopaedic cases. We strive for making quality private healthcare more accessible and efficient for patients. Currently we have 81 beds and with a Bed Occupancy Rate (BOR) of 75 – 85%. Each Columbia Asia medical facility also houses no more than 100 beds per hospital.

March Drill: Rahani Yaacob – General Manager (Columbia Asia Hospital - Iskandar Puteri)Is healthcare affordable in Malaysia? (Both public and private)

Healthcare in Malaysia has undergone radical transformations and public and private healthcare services coexist in a universal healthcare system. Recently, a report by International Living claimed that Malaysia is among “4 Countries With The Best Healthcare In The World”, adding that the healthcare available is sometimes even better than what’s on offer in developed countries, and “at a more affordable price too”.

At Columbia Asia, our hospitals may be smaller in comparison to other private hospitals but the concept behind its simplicity leads the way towards healthcare trends in the future – efficient, accessible and cost-effective.

What are your thoughts on medical tourism and does Columbia Asia benefit from it?

The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) expects the medical tourism industry in the country to grow a further 20-30% and generate RM1.3 billion in revenue this year. The number of medical travellers in 2016 was estimated at 900,000 with revenue exceeding RM1 billion on hospital charges alone. Incidental spending outside of hospital fees is where the country stands to gain, with patients and their families accumulating an estimated RM5 billion in expenditure on transportation, hotel, food and shopping. So yes, medical tourism is very good for the country but at Columbia Asia, we currently can’t focus on the medical tourism industry as we have limited beds and logistics issues to resolve first.

At a market size of close to USD500 billion, the Asia Pacific Healthcare market (consisting of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare technology) represent 30% of global revenues, and is still the fastest growing region globally with a growth rate of 11.5% (projected for 2016). Is it all about business or are patients prioritised before profits?

The mission statement of Columbia Asia is to deliver the best clinical outcome in the most effective, efficient and caring environment. Although I mentioned that our hospitals may be smaller in comparison to other private hospitals, but the concept behind its simplicity leads the way towards efficiency, accessibility and cost-effectiveness, which is the future trend of healthcare. As such, our objective is to provide communities with effective healthcare at excellent value, and to be the preferred choice for families and businesses. Patients are our number one priority. As a business entity, we do look at our profits and losses but our patients still come first.

Tell us more about your CSR initiatives

There’s too many to name (Laughs)! Every year, we carry out around five to ten CSR activities either by ourselves or by working with NGOs and other organisations. There will be more to come this year.

What’s upcoming at your hospital in 2017 (new wing or increased bed numbers etc.)?

Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri was established in the prosperous state of Johor at the southern tip of Malaysia in 2010 and it is the company’s first multi-specialty medical facility. This multi-disciplinary specialist hospital caters to residents of new townships in Johor Bahru such as Nusa Idaman, Horizon Hills, Educity, SiLC and Ledang. A 10-minute drive from Johor Bahru city centre and also Singapore, Iskandar Puteri is a flagship zone of Iskandar Malaysia. With our expanding clientele, we have decided to construct our second hospital in Johor which will be situated in Tebrau. More information will be supplied as we progress.

At Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri, our resident consultants are available for consultation during office hours while our 24-hour medical and specialist services are provided by Resident Medical Officers, Specialists and Paramedical Support Team. As mentioned, we currently have 81 beds and we are in the midst of constructing a new wing which will have 85 beds on its own.

We are also planning to have numerous CSR activities for 2017, among which we will have an Eradicate Dengue Campaign, Parenthood Workshops, Diabetes Awareness Campaign, Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Taxi Day in Conjunction with World Lupus Day & Mother’s Day, and blood donation drives apart from the annual festival celebrations.

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