Luxury for a price at Novena hospitalSingapore’s newest hospital, which opens on July 1, will have several firsts such as top-of-the- range scanners and operating theatres.
But it is the size of its suites and accompanying price tag that could make it a formidable competitor for ultra-rich patients, both local and foreign.
The Parkway Pantai group's Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital will boast a 140-square-meter suite – bigger than a five-room Housing Board flat – that costs S$12,888 (US$10,148) a night.
This is about 50 percent more than the most expensive suite at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in the Orchard area.
For that amount, the patient gets two bedrooms, a spacious living area, a tiny kitchenette, a private lift, an alcove for guards to provide round-the-clock security, and five meals for up to four people daily.
Its cheapest bed costs US$578 a night since patients will all be housed in single-bed rooms – the same as charged by Mount Elizabeth Hospital, which is currently the most expensive.
The one-patient-per-room policy is aimed at “wealthy domestic patients and premium medical travelers”, said the group's chief executive officer, Tan See Ling. He expects demand to be high, given the experience of its other hospitals here – Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles and Parkway East, which also offer multiple-bed rooms.
The group is majority-owned by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah. Khazanah plans to list the parent company IHH Healthcare – which owns 30 hospitals in eight countries – on both the Singapore and Malaysian stock exchanges next month.
The new hospital's chief executive officer, Lee Hong Huei, hopes to attract an equal number of resident patients and medical tourists.
Aside from Indonesia, Malaysia and Indochina, the major sources of medical tourists for Singapore, Lee said wealthy mainland Chinese “are waking up to the idea that they can get good medical care overseas”.
Many are now heading for medical brand names in the United States.
He wants Mount Elizabeth Novena to be on their radar screen.
In order not to be in a head-on competition with its sister hospitals, Lee said it will focus on five key areas: cancer, general surgery, and heart, brain and musculosketal treatments.
It will also have a fairly large ear, nose and throat as well as gynecology presence.
But it will not offer obstetrics, something the three other Parkway hospitals do, and expects very little pediatric work as a result.
The S$2 billion hospital will open with 180 beds but will eventually have 333, of which 40 will be for intensive care.
More than 100 specialists with clinics in the adjoining medical centre are expected to start practicing there about the same time that the hospital opens.
Its Chairman Suite is larger than a five-room Housing Board flat. For $12,888 a night, the patient gets two bedrooms, a spacious living area, a tiny kitchenette, a private lift, an alcove for guards, and five meals for up to four people daily. -- ST PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE.
by Cheryl Tay
Parkway Pantai's new S$2 billion Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (pictured) boasts a penthouse-level, super VIP suite complete with a living room and roof terrace, similar to a luxury five-star hotel.
Tuck Cheong, Managing Partner at Consultants Incorporated Architects +
Planners (CIAP), said, “It has a very luxurious feel. At the same time,
the caregiver is able to be stationed there and help with recovery.”
The project was developed by architectural firms and healthcare specialists HOK and CIAP.
super VIP suites are called the Chairman, Presidential and Royal
suites. The entirely single-room flagship hospital also offers 37 deluxe
rooms, eight VIP rooms and 206 individual rooms.
Mount Elizabeth Novena has 254 medical suites, with over 80 percent
occupied by more than 170 specialists. The remaining suites will be
retained by Parkway Pantai for its own use.
Patient rooms are
either angled or canted, with the bathroom tucked in a corner, to make
them more patient-friendly. The room layout also allows more space for
family members who wish to spend more time with patients.
than the usual mirror images, patient rooms were developed with
everything in the same place to minimise medical errors. The hospital
also features connectivity between in-patient wards and specialists'
“Having the physicians so close and so accessible
— (the absence of which) was a common complaint in other facilities —
works very well for us,” noted Lee Lian Hai, Group Vice-President (group
project and construction management) of Parkway Pantai.
14-storey complex and first greenfield private hospital built in recent
years will likely open its doors by the end of this month, after having
received its temporary occupation permit (TOP) from the Building &
Construction Authority (BCA) on 23 April.
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