Photo above: Ms Bi’s experiences as a nurse in China helped her come up with her clinic’s concept. She wanted to ensure that female patients get better bedside service than in crowded hospitals.
SINGAPORE - After spending 16 years making medical equipment in China, entrepreneur Bi Xiao Qiong felt she was ready to fulfil a long-held ambition - opening a health facility for women.
Her dream took shape here in the form of the Sincere Medical Specialist Centre for Women.
The Novena facility has six doctors offering services such as obstetrics and gynaecology, aesthetics, a fertility programme, and health screening.
Ms Bi, 48, said she is focusing on the small details that female patients would appreciate.
She said in Mandarin through an interpreter: "If the women come with children, our service staff will look after them when they are with our doctors. For women far advanced in their pregnancies, our sofas have special arm rests that let them push themselves off the seats to stand up."
There is also a limousine service for women too weak to make their way home.
China-born Ms Bi, who become a Singapore citizen in November 2010, will open a Sincere branch in Xiamen, China, next year. Branches in Beijing, Shanghai and other major Chinese cities are also in the pipeline.
"We hope to also open a branch in the United States because there are many patients who travel to Singapore, China and the US.
"Our doctors in any of these countries would have access to their medical histories via our computer system, so the patients visiting any of our clinics would not have to re-register."
It was her experience as a nurse for eight years in a hospital in Jiangxi in southern China in the 1980s that opened her eyes to how female patients were treated. She went on to work in manufacturing, making diagnostic kits and machines to treat cancer, but she never forgot her nursing experiences.
"In China, there were just too many people. Patients were like on a production line. Doctors had not much time to spend with each patient," she recalled.
"Before a female patient can dress up after an examination, the next patient has entered the room. This really intrudes on her privacy."
She decided that when she started her own clinic, she would ensure that female patients would receive better bedside service.
The facility, which has been running for about a year, has foreign and local patients.
Some learnt of it through Sincere's advertisement on 65doctor.com, a website that lets people book doctors' appointments online.
Sincere is not part of 65doctor.com.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.