I am indeed honoured to be given the opportunity to address and officially open this Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013 organised by the Biomedical Engineering Association of Malaysia in conjunction with the Principle Partner, Advance Pact Sdn Bhd – Medivest Sdn Bhd and Partners, Faber Mediserve Sdn Bhd and Radicare (M) Sdn Bhd and with the support of Ministry of Health, Malaysia and the International Federation of Hospital Engineers (IFHE).
Before I start, allow me to welcome Mr. Ole Rist, President of the International Federation of Hospital Engineering, the Executive Council members and Council members from over 30 countries to Malaysia. I have been made to understand that the previous Executive Council and Council meetings were held last year in Norway and indeed Malaysia is both proud and excited to be hosting this year’s meeting.
I hope you have had a very productive Executive Council and Council meetings that will further elevate the global promotion of hospital engineering in support of improving patient care services worldwide.
The healthcare sector in Malaysia is rapidly changing in line with the vision of the government towards an industrialized Malaysia by the year 2020. This sector demands high quality patient care services in an environment that is continuously challenged by changes in customer requirement, emergence of new health risk, changes in medical technology and new application of information technology.
Hospital engineering is the fundamental foundation that is a pre-requisite to quality healthcare facility that in return is expected to promote and enhance quality patient care services. Thus, the theme ‘Empowering Facility Management in Healthcare Engineering’ is most relevant and mirrors the government’s transformation strategies in improving healthcare services on a continual basis.
Among others, the empowering strategy on facility management in healthcare engineering is expected to move the healthcare sector economy up the value chain. It will also raise the capacity for knowledge, innovation and nurturing of first class mentality in healthcare engineering through the application of new technology that will support the patient care services.
Malaysia has progressively undertaken various initiatives and programmes to improve the healthcare facility and engineering services. The development of public hospitals in Malaysia has migrated from the traditional design and built contract through to turnkey concept and most recently the public-private partnership approach. The latter is expected to provide long term private sector commitment in developing and maintaining quality healthcare facility in partnership with the government. This approach will provide optimum life cycle management of the healthcare facility from initial planning, design, procurement, construction, equipping, installation, testing and commissioning, maintenance, replacement and de-commissioning.
On facility management of healthcare facilities, the government has embarked on a major transformation in healthcare engineering services through the privatization of hospital support services at 122 public hospitals under the Ministry of Health in 1997.
Privatisation of hospital support services is one of the major outsourcing initiatives by the government and involved 5 major areas namely, facility engineering maintenance, biomedical engineering maintenance, linen and laundry services, clinical waste management services and cleansing services.
Our privatisation plan has also successfully improved the quality of hospital support services in our public hospitals and in turn has set the benchmark for the private sector to emulate.
As an example, the provision of clinical waste management services in Malaysia has been recognised by the WHO as among the best in developing countries and comparable to those in the developed nations.
Our local capabilities in hospital engineering are clearly demonstrated by the many successful planning, design, development and services undertaken for new modern healthcare facilities in the country. These include the new Teaching Hospital for the International Islamic University in Kuantan, Pahang, the National Cancer Institute in Putrajaya and the new Children Hospital at the National University in Kuala Lumpur.
Before I end, I would like to congratulate the Biomedical Engineering Association of Malaysia, Principle Partner, Partners, Supporters, Exhibitors, participants and those who have supported and contributed in making this event a success.
I am pleased to officially open the Hospital Engineering International Conference and Exhibition 2013.