Contributed by Kenny Phang.
In collaboration with Defy Media.
Sunsuria Healthcare, a subsidiary of Sunsuria Berhad, and Icon Cancer Centre, an integral arm of global cancer care provider, Icon Group, proudly announce a new joint-venture entity, Icon Sunsuria Sdn Bhd (“Icon Sunsuria”). With a shared commitment to enhancing patient outcomes and advancing cancer care clinical expertise, the partnership aims to elevate the standard of cancer care for Malaysians.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaysia saw an estimated 48,639 new cases of cancer in 2020, with this number expected to double by 2040. This is compounded by the country’s cancer survival rates with research suggesting that for every five newly-diagnosed cases, there were three deaths from cancer within the same period.
Icon Sunsuria aims to provide access to quality cancer care and improve the well-being of patients and their families, by establishing cancer centres across Malaysia via strategic partnerships with local healthcare operators.
Leveraging Icon Cancer Centre’s long-standing excellence in oncology and deep network of clinical expertise, the joint-venture will enrich the capability of hospitals’ existing medical services with specialised cancer expertise and enable patients to access comprehensive cancer care and cutting-edge treatments.
“Efforts such as these complement the Ministry’s own action plan for battling cancer, as outlined in the Malaysian National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Program 2021-2025. In addition to improving the health of cancer survivors from diagnosis through to treatment, we welcome future-facing solutions that align with our strategic goals to address the country’s cancer research needs and strengthen our medical pool of talent,” said YB Dr. Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health Malaysia, when officiating the signing ceremony for the landmark partnership today.
The signatories of the agreement were Audrey Ooi, Chief Executive Officer of Sunsuria Healthcare, and Serena Wee, Chief Executive Officer of Icon ASEAN and Hong Kong, witnessed by YB Dr. Zaliha Mustafa, accompanied by Tan Sri Datuk Ter Leong Yap, Founder and Executive Chairman of Sunsuria Berhad, and Dr Patricia Kho, Medical Director of Icon Cancer Centre at Mt Alvernia.
The signing ceremony also saw the presence of Dr Steven Barraclough, Visiting Senior Government Official of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australian High Commission in Malaysia and Melanie Harris, Trade and Investment Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (AUSTRADE).
“The joint venture between Sunsuria Healthcare and Icon Group is a strategic partnership that will play a significant part in shaping the future of the healthcare sector in Malaysia. It is another example of the strong bilateral ties and confidence both Australia and Malaysia share, bringing mutual benefit to both economies,” said Melanie Harris, Trade and Investment Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei.
Addressing the collaboration, Tan Sri Datuk Ter said, “Sunsuria Berhad takes pride in its proactive role in nation-building, which encompasses various facets such as job creation, knowledge transfer, attracting international investments, and fostering community development in Malaysia.
“Our approach involves forging exclusive partnerships that combine global expertise such as our partnership with Icon, supported with our local knowledge and network. Today, we embark on a new journey to further our vision by merging technology and knowledge transfer, much like our accomplishments in the field of education with Xiamen University Malaysia from China and Concord College International School from the United Kingdom.”
Icon Group, with Icon Cancer Centre as a key component, delivers a comprehensive spectrum of services including medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology, pharmacy, and chemotherapy compounding.
As Australia’s leading integrated cancer care provider, the Group has grown its global footprint to encompass over 50 cancer centres across Australia, New Zealand, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam. Icon Cancer Centre will bring clinical expertise and extensive healthcare leadership as majority shareholder of Icon Sunsuria, working alongside Sunsuria Healthcare as its trusted Malaysian partner.
“At Icon, the patient is at the heart of everything we do. Being a vanguard of cancer care globally, it is in our DNA to expand our presence into new markets to deliver the best care, to as many people, as close to home as possible. Since 2022, Malaysia has been our focus for ASEAN expansion, and we found an ideal partner in Sunsuria Healthcare, as we strive to push the boundaries of cancer care in Malaysia,” said Serena Wee, Chief Executive Officer of Icon ASEAN and Hong Kong.
With its entry into Malaysia, Icon Cancer Centre brings an international knowledge-sharing network of over 300 oncologists and cancer industry partners, along with the latest approaches in clinical research, treatment techniques, and drugs.
Icon Sunsuria intends to tap into these resources to offer local hospitals and patients greater access to international clinical trials, as well as new proprietary drugs and technologies.
Additionally, Icon Cancer Centre’s strategic partnership with Varian, a Siemens Healthineers company and global leader in advanced cancer care technology, enables the Group’s partners to have an edge in accessing radiation therapy innovations as they come to the Asia-Pacific market.
With operations spanning continents, Icon Group also brings a robust remote training programme, offering ongoing training and skills development for oncology nurses, medical physicists and radiation therapists.
“Icon Sunsuria is driven by our mission to make an immediate impact on local communities. We are eager to strategically expand our network of cancer centres by partnering with local healthcare operators, doctors and specialists across the country. By embracing a comprehensive approach to cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, we aim to bring the latest in world class cancer care to the region,” said Audrey Ooi, Chief Executive Officer of Sunsuria Healthcare.
 Global Cancer Observatory (a WHO organisation), 2020: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/458-malaysia-fact-sheets.pdf
 Malaysian National Strategic Plan for Cancer Control Program 2021-2025 (pg12) – https://www.moh.gov.my/moh/resources/Penerbitan/Rujukan/NCD/Kanser/National_Strategic_Plan_for_Cancer_Control_Programme_2021-2025.pdf