Friday, September 24

CM: Best for Asean to have common mobile health platform


Abang Johari (fourth left) receives a token of appreciation from Ling as Dr Sim (third left) and others look on. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Medical professionals across Asean are called upon to find a common mobile health platform through their respective medical associations.

This was proposed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who said it would enable their patients to interact with them and even seek treatments in Asean countries.

“Patients from Sarawak can go to countries like Singapore, Vietnam or Thailand to seek treatment,” he spoke at the Asean Digital Mobile Health Summit 2019, held here yesterday.

Abang Johari also suggested that medical professionals would look into establishing a network focusing on traditional medicine.

He opined that with such network, doctors and scientists could also explore Sarawak’s rich biodiversity for use in traditional medicine.

“This is just an idea and I hope medical professionals would work on it.

“Once you have this common platform within Asean countries and because the Asean economy is going to be integrated, therefore the medical services profession can also be integrated within the framework of Asean integration,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said the summit was relevant to Kuching and Sarawak, in view of the health and wellness tourism had become more popular among the state’s immediate neighbours, particularly Kalimantan, Indonesia.

“We have four private hospitals in Kuching offering quality and affordable health and wellness services, and they are expanding to cater to increasing support from within and outside Sarawak.

“I believe these hospitals need to invest in digital technology in order to be able to tap into the mobile health industry.”

Meanwhile, Asean-China Entrepreneurs Association (Acea) president Dato Stanley Ling said in today’s digital era, patients would need an option to obtain more opinions from specialists and doctors from different countries.

“In the past, privacy and one-on-one care consultation served as a value-added service for many private hospitals and clinics.

“But today, in the 21st century, patients need an option where they would be able to obtain consultation conveniently and as immediate as possible.”

Ling, who is also the event’s organising chairman, said online mobile healthcare and medical apps had become a force to be reckoned with as they could provide instant access for patients and doctors to connect and consult at any time, any place, and on impromptu basis.

He added that Acea’s vision was to connect all Asean countries and beyond to all medical industry accessible healthcare network.

Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian was also present at the event.