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Business

Singapore healthcare provider treating more patients

SINGAPORE -- Raffles Medical Group, Singapore's leading private healthcare provider, has posted revenue of 374.6 million Singapore dollars ($276.1 million) for 2014, a 9.9% increase from 2013.

     Although the group saw an increase in patients, it reported a 20.3% drop in profit attributable to owners of the company in 2014 to S$67.6 million. The main reason was a one-off gain in 2013 from disposal of a subsidiary worth S$20.4 million. 

     Raffles Medical has treated more patients since the government launched the Pioneer Generation Package, a new set of medical subsidies for citizens over 65.

     About a third of Raffles Medical's patients come from overseas. Indonesia provides some 20% of these, but the number has fallen lately with the stronger Singapore dollar.

     Staff costs rose 7.1% to S$182 million with the increase in doctors and specialists to meet demand.

     Executive Chairman Dr Loo Choon Yong noted the higher costs to Indonesians and also Russians with the crash of the rouble. Despite these falls, the overall number of foreign patients has risen, albeit at a slower pace. Dr Loo noted that many expatriates from countries like Australia and Japan working in the region favour Singapore for medical services.

     Raffles Medical has been expanding operations in Japan and China that target high-end patients. There are plans for a clinic in Osaka later in the year, and also for hospitals in Shenzhen and Shanghai.

     Domestically, the group is expanding hospital facilities at its main hospital with an extension due for completion in early 2017. It is also developing in Holland Village for early 2016, a medical and retail complex space in a residential district popular with expatriates. Raffles Medical will have a clinic there and rent out the remaining space for retail and to DBS Group Holdings.

     To support Singapore's public health sector, the group is working with the health ministry to receive patients from the Singapore Civil Defence Force starting in June for two years. 

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