Contributed by Kenny Phang.
In collaboration with Defy Media.
KL Wellness City (KLWC), the first purpose-built township project in Southeast Asia to cultivate a lifestyle fully integrated with healthcare and wellness, marked its official launch on 1st June 2023 at the KL Wellness City Gallery in Bukit Jalil. The ceremony welcomed the Minister of Health, YB Dr Zaliha Mustafa as its Guest of Honour to officiate the momentous occasion.
With a gross development value (GDV) of RM11 billion and spanning over 26.49 acres, the development is a world-class medical and wellness living at its core. The project features a well-rounded ecosystem primed for wellbeing and health – The Nobel Healthcare Park, the KL International Hospital (KLIH), innovation laboratories, clinical R&D facilities, healthcare company office towers, a retirement resort, a Healthcare Hub, wellness-centric serviced apartments, a fitness-based Central Park, and more.
For the past few years, during the pandemic, Malaysia has been fighting hurdles in keeping up infrastructure development with patient load, retaining our medical talents, maintaining continuance of care in preparation for an ageing nation and a continuous war against Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD).
Positioning Malaysia as a hub for Medical Tourism
“In full support of Malaysia’s national plan to be recognised as one of the best places for medical tourism, KL Wellness City is designed to provide and prioritise health and wellbeing as the heart of its development, through its vision of a 360-degree wellness hub centred around its township which encompasses all aspects of medical care, health, wellness, fitness, and business, complete with residential, retail, and commercial offerings,” said KL Wellness City Managing Director, Dato’ Dr Colin Lee.
In line with the national vision of solidifying Malaysia’s position and track record as the top destination for medical tourism in mind, KL Wellness City will serve as the ultimate one-stop oasis for the body and mind for both domestic and international travellers.
Preparing for an Ageing Nation
Other than being a cornerstone for healthcare travel, according to Dato’ Dr Colin, the KLWC project is also an initiative that is built with an ageing nation in mind. Malaysia, having attained its status as an ageing nation, has an ageing population growing at a faster-than-expected rate where more than 15% of its population will be above the age of 65 by 2050.
In response to this shift in population demographics, Malaysia is currently in pursuit of WHO’s Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, that is to provide equitable healthcare and wellness for all. “The KL Wellness City master plan incorporates thousands of facilities and residences. This township is a significant step towards embracing an ageing nation, with facilities for comprehensive healthcare dedicated to wellbeing through elderly care, retirement resorts, as well as independent and assisted living.” Dato’ Dr Lee added.
Retaining and Cultivating Local Medical Talents
The flagship KL International Hospital (KLIH), approved as a tertiary hospital with 624 beds and scalable to 1,000-bed capacity, will be on the same ranks as renowned institutions like Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Hospital, as well as Mount Elizabeth Novena, Singapore.
Some of the of medical equipment and facilities to be equipped in the KL International Hospital will be amongst the first in the Southeast Asia region, offering a fully comprehensive and integrated ecosystem of healthcare services including wellness and fitness facilities across diverse areas, including cardiology, spine health, neuro health, sports medicine, cosmetic surgery, and fertility, with R&D laboratories and facilities for clinical studies.
With the support of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) towards the KLIH, the new private hospital will be built within the mixed development of KL Wellness City in Kuala Lumpur with proposed investment of RM860 million. The project, set to be in operation in the first half of 2026, will create over 3,000 job opportunities for medical professionals, including medical specialists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, and others.
“The commitment of KLWC to raising the bar for healthy living and wellbeing resonates with the Ministry of Health’s whole-of-system approach. It aligns perfectly with our national vision and the direction set forth in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Undoubtedly, I have faith that KLIH will attract multidisciplinary leading specialists to practice in a single hospital location, shortening turnaround time for both local and foreign patients, optimising patient care and experience.
We foresee KLIH filling in that gap for Malaysians, and we stand in support of KLWC resonating with their purpose. The Ministry applauds the efforts of the tertiary hospital to maintain our leading position in this region and globally. We will continue to endorse KL International Hospital’s commitment,” said YB Dr Zaliha Mustafa, Minister of Health Malaysia.
Dato’ Dr Colin also expressed his gratitude for the support of the Malaysian Government for the ground-breaking project. “We are honoured by the presence of the esteemed Minister of Health, YB Dr Zaliha Mustafa, which further exemplifies our shared commitment to make Malaysia stand among the best in the SEA region.”