New Zealand’s healthcare ties to Malaysia on the rise

August 17, 2018

The recently concluded Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) International Healthcare Conference and Exhibition, held from 31 July to 2 August at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia, featured a pavilion from New Zealand for the first time ever.

HCA spoke to New Zealand Trade Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei, Simon Hearsey, to find out more about New Zealand’s trade with Malaysia and links for the healthcare sector.

Can you provide an overview of the trade relationship between Malaysia and New Zealand?

Simon: Malaysia and New Zealand enjoy a longstanding relationship, with strong trade ties and a history of successful collaboration. Last year our two countries celebrated 60 years of diplomatic relations.

Malaysia is one of our top ten largest trading partners, not to mention one of our fastest-growing export markets. Two-way trade between our two countries reached NZ$3.3 billion (RM$9.1) in the year ending March 2018; that’s up from NZ$2.5 (RM$ 6.9) billion in the same period last year.

We want to continue this trend, which is why seven leading companies from New Zealand’s health technology sector recently visited Kuala Lumpur to attend the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia (APHM) International Healthcare Conference and Exhibition to explore strategic opportunities with our Malaysian partners.

How can partnerships between Malaysia and New Zealand contribute to growth in the healthcare sector?

Simon: Malaysia’s healthcare sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Ambitious growth targets under the government’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP) put healthcare on course to contribute RM50.5 billion to Gross National Income by 2020, which will treble the sector’s contribution over ten years.

New Zealand companies are well positioned to work with Malaysian healthcare providers to achieve this goal.

Our businesses are born with a global outlook, and through increased collaboration with partners in Malaysia, we can develop solutions that will have an impact across the healthcare landscape: from hospitals and community clinics to telemedicine and home care.

This builds on established collaboration in the healthcare arena. Fertility Associates is New Zealand’s leading provider of fertility diagnosis, support and treatment, and has worked with a local partner in Malaysia to establish four clinics in the country that are improving outcomes for patients and stimulating growth in the sector.

What are the challenges faced by the Malaysian healthcare sector, and how can international collaboration help to address them?

Simon: Like many countries across the region, Malaysia is faced with changing patient needs caused by an ageing population and the growing prevalence of chronic disease. In response, the healthcare sector is looking for smart technology solutions to create greater value for both providers and patients.

At APHM, New Zealand companies presented solutions including genetic screening tests that can help prevent and treat conditions including obesity, diabetes and cancer. Our health tech companies are also at the forefront of developments that use smart technology to change the way healthcare systems are managed.

These are just some of the projects which can directly improve diagnosis and treatment for Malaysian patients.

Describe how advances in New Zealand’s health technology sector can improve efficiency, enhance patient services and reduce costs in the Malaysian healthcare system.

Simon: The Adherium smart inhaler and Pacific Edge’s cancer diagnostics systems are just a two examples of the innovative technologies that New Zealand companies have already brought to the global market to transform healthcare delivery and improve outcomes for patients.

New Zealand is building an international reputation for the quality of its innovative health information offerings, with integrated solutions that link data across the spectrum of healthcare services. Our technology solutions can help Malaysian hospitals work smarter, so they can focus on what really delivers patient-centred care both inside and outside hospital walls.

Managing patient data is essential in any modern hospital. Orion Health provides software systems to help hospitals manage this data more effectively. Their Enterprise system allows healthcare providers to easily access patient data collected throughout their treatment, leading to improvements in operational efficiency and clinical effectiveness.

Cortell Health’s IntelliMax system uses key financial and clinical information, together with activity-based costing, to help hospitals not only generate more intelligent pricing and contract information, but also to help identify where losses may be occurring enabling hospitals to measure true profitability and performance.

In the field of critical care, Precept Health’s products give hospitals access to comprehensive electronic medical records, with advanced tools for assessment, planning and decision support. Like Orion Health and many other New Zealand companies, it has an existing footprint in Malaysia and opportunities for growth in future.


Category: Features, Top Story

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