New Hope Partnership
    Category: Health is Wealth By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 1286 Date : Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 19:31:52

    Courtesy of the National Hospital

    The National Hospital in Surabaya is the first and only hospital in the country that is able to treat advanced Parkinson disease. Established in December 2012, it did the first Parkinson surgery four months later, and so far the hospital has treated over 100 Parkinson patients from around the country. It is interesting that the two owners of the hospital don’t have healthcare as a main business: property developer Intiland and Istana Motor Raya (Imora) group, the sole agent and brand holder of Honda car in Indonesia (Imora does own two other hospitals).

    Parkinson is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes uncontrollable tremors or other movements, thus destroying the patient’s quality of life. Even a simple task such as eating with a spoon becomes nearly impossible. There is no exact figure on how many people in Indonesia have Parkinson, however some estimate there are thousands of new cases each year. In its early stages, Parkinson can usually be treated with drugs that will help relieve the symptoms. However, over time, such drugs tend to become ineffective.

    Surgery is the next step. National Hospital offers a type of surgery called a stereotactic lesion, where the portion of the brain with abnormal activity is destroyed, usually by heat. The surgery is minimally invasive and done while patient is conscious, and can even be active—one patient played a flute during surgery.

    The result can almost magically eliminate Parkinson in an instant. The cost of the treatment starts from Rp 90 million, or a quarter of the cost of similar surgery in Singapore. The hospital has brought new hope to those who suffer from Parkinson and other nerve diseases. “Indonesia still needs more hospitals to treat cancer and do neurosurgery,” says Rudy Surjanto, 43, chief executive of National Hospital and director at PT Istana Mobil Surabaya Indah—an Imora subsidiary for Honda dealerships in East Java and the eastern part of Indonesia. Before entering the automotive business, Rudy had 10 years experience in the hospital industry, such as being finance director at Husada Hospital in Jakarta. It was Rudy who had the idea to build the National Hospital as a neuro-center. Rudy experienced firsthand of how the lack of capable neurosurgery hospitals in Indonesia almost cost him his life.

    When planning the hospital, Rudy suffered a stroke. Local hospitals could not provide proper treatment—his mobile phone was even stolen while being treated in one hospital. He had to seek treatment in Singapore where he underwent stereotactic surgery. Rudy later saw his sickness as a blessing in disguise that helped him include a patient’s perspective when building the hospital.

    Another opportunity opened when Rudy started recruiting doctors for the hospital. He met Dr. Achmad Fahmi, a young neurosurgeon who had just come back from training in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital. “After talking with Dr. Fahmi, I said let’s do this—we didn’t even do a feasibility study. There was no clear data, but I believed there were many Indonesians suffering from Parkinson and nerve diseases,” Rudy says.

    National Hospital took about Rp 500 billion to build, financed from the internal cash of the shareholders and a loan from Bank Mandiri. Rudy hired a famous Singaporean architect Tay Kheng Soon, founder of the architecture firm Akitek Tenggara, to design the hospital, which is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. “Like any other business, efficiency is also important for a hospital. We know that operational costs, including electricity costs, continue to climb. And despite having a social obligation, private hospitals like us don’t get a special treatment,” Rudy says.

    Rudy added details based on his experience as a patient. One selling point of Singapore hospitals is privacy, so Rudy built a private corridor connecting the emergency room with the wards. To improve security, each room can be locked from the inside, and only the on-duty nurse with a master key can open it from outside. “The most important thing is to communicate all this to customers. Indonesian consumers don’t really trust domestic products. That is why we try to build trust from the beginning,” Rudy says, adding the hospital spent six months before opening to educate potential customers.

    Currently the hospital operates 130 beds from a total capacity of 205. Last year, the hospital booked revenue of around Rp 120 billion and Rudy says its target is to grow to at least Rp 180 billion by 2016. Neurosurgery is the second largest contributor to hospital revenue, after obstetrics and gynecology. As Rudy says: “The hospital is a dream come true.”