KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 – UEM Edgenta, whose maintenance of government ambulances in Malaysia has come under scrutiny following crashes allegedly due to burst tyres, is looking at health care support business opportunities in Singapore.
The Malaysian government-linked company (GLC) noted that Singapore is currently re-clustering health care facilities under its Ministry of Health (MOH), which has resulted in the issuance of new tenders.
UEM Edgenta managing director Azmir Merican said that the GLC’s health care support division had participated in the tenders and successfully won contracts worth over RM500 million.
“We should be able to win more (contracts)…but overall we are quite aggressively growing our health care business,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama at a press conference to announce the company’s outlook for the second half of the year.
UEM Edgenta, which provides non-clinical hospital support services to 32 MOH hospitals in the northern region in Malaysia, is also present in Taiwan and India besides Singapore, with over 300 hospitals under its care.
“The Company is optimistic that it will be able to secure more contracts to support the growth of these hospitals amid an ageing population and increased life expectancy trends in all these countries,” UEM Edgenta said in a statement.
UEM Edgenta said it was proposing artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor and optimise asset health and energy usage at each of its MOH facilities in Malaysia.
“Recently, the Company was awarded by MOH to deliver energy performance contracting services for their Kepala Batas Hospital in Penang, a service which has been phased out to be delivered in the next six years, taking the number of MOH hospitals enjoying this innovative, turnkey concept of shared savings to three.”
In the first half of 2019, UEM Edgenta’s revenue surged 10.4 per cent to RM1.11 billion from the same period last year, whereas revenue from the health care support division jumped 19.7 per cent year-on-year, contributed by new projects in Singapore and Taiwan.
UEM Edgenta’s net profit grew 4.6 per cent in the first six months of the year to RM68.1 million compared to the corresponding period in the 2018 financial year.
Also, UEM Edgenta is exploring business opportunities in Indonesia’s health care industry in the company’s long-term strategy, expounded Azmir.
UEM Edgenta has recently been in local news as two MOH hospital ambulances, whose maintenance is managed by the company, were involved in fatal crashes since July 2018, both allegedly due to burst tyres.
In July 18 last year, an ambulance from Kedah-based Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital crashed when a tyre burst, causing a patient’s death and leaving a doctor crippled; whereas in August this year, a Slim River Hospital ambulance met with an accident in Perak, killing the driver and patient, which early police investigations said was caused by a burst tyre.
Several Slim River Hospital staff have complained that the public hospital’s ambulances previously suffered tyre explosions up to three times this year before the fatal August 4 accident, and three more times last year. Those incidents didn’t result in crashes. Another ambulance from the hospital suffered a tyre blowout last August 28.