Keeping their fingers on the pulse of medical business

Keeping their fingers on the pulse of medical business

SINGAPORE - None of the three founders of Healthway Medical Corporation (HMC) are medically-trained - yet they are behind the company that operates Singapore's largest network of private medical centres and clinics.

Mr Fan Kow Hin, Mr Andrew Aathar and Dr Jong Hee Sen bought over HMC from a British medical insurance company in 2005.

Mr Fan and Mr Aathar were previously colleagues at DBS Land - the predecessor of today's Capita- Land - specialising in real estate and healthcare investments. Dr Jong used to work for the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore where he was responsible for real estate investments and fund management in Asia.

HMC was then known as Healthway Medical Group, operating 26 general practitioner (GP) clinics here.

Today, the group runs more than 100 medical centres in Singapore - including family clinics, specialist centres, dental clinics and wellness and aesthetics clinics.

HMC, which is listed on Singapore Exchange's second board Catalist, also operates a chain of medical centres in Shanghai, China.

The partners continue to see vast business opportunities in the health-care industry, said Dr Jong, who has a PhD in business from the University of Michigan.

"But it's also a sector that touches lives very directly," added the 53-year-old.

"As medical entrepreneurs, we want to think about the business angle...the best way to bring affordable services and best medical practices to patients, by combining both the medical and business perspectives," said Mr Aathar, 48.

Mr Fan, 57, added that doctors also have a role to play as management staff.

"It's a team effort - this is an organisation where doctors play a role in both the day to day business operations as well as frontline medical work," he said.

The trio has spun off the company's in-patient medical services arm International Healthway Corporation (IHC), which operates hospitals and nursing homes, into a separate entity.

IHC owns and manages health-care-related assets in Malaysia, China and Japan such as hospitals and mixed-use developments. It listed on Catalist today, with HMC retaining a 7.9 per cent stake.

Meanwhile, the three founders are focused on expanding the reach of HMC's outpatient medical business into HDB estates by bringing in specialist doctors - such as paediatricians and psychiatrists.

"There is room to move deeper into the heartland... there are many new estates in Singapore, and there's lots of room for us to be there," he added.

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