Parkway Hospital developer in the dark on suspension


YANGON — The major investor in the Parkway Yangon Hospital says it will wait for official notification of the project’s status before responding to parliament’s suspension of the controversial project.

The US$70 million hospital project was suspended by the Pyithu Hluttaw yesterday, with the support of Minister for Health Dr Myint Htway. The minister said the project lacked transparency, as it had been approved without a tender.

Dr Lee Hong Huei, head of Southeast Asia for Parkway Pantai, said investors were yet to hear from the government about the suspension.

“The build-operate-transfer agreement for the hospital project was formalised on 29 January 2016 and all contractual obligations to date have been fulfilled,” he said.

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“We will await official notification from the Government before reviewing our options.” 

Dr Lee said the hospital would deliver significant benefits for Myanmar’s health sector.

“Our intent is to work effectively with the local medical fraternity to elevate healthcare service standards through training, as well as knowledge and technology transfers. 

“On top of creating jobs and other economic benefits, our investments in the country will also level up the medical hub status of Yangon and Myanmar. 

Parkway is a Singapore-based subsidiary of Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare, the major investor in Parkway Yangon.

The Parkway Yangon Hospital was slated for development on a 4.4-acre plot in the downtown area, close to Yangon General Hospital.

On May 4, a National League for Democracy MP, Dr San Shwe, submitted a proposal to suspend the lease granted for the site, on the corner of Bogyoke Aung San and Pyay roads, to a consortium led by Malaysian firm IHH Healthcare.

Speaker U Win Myint formally approved the decision to suspend the project on Thursday.

The former Yangon Region government, led by current vice president U Myint Swe, approved the project on a build, operate and transfer basis in January, shortly before it left office. The decision prompted howls of condemnation, particularly from medical professionals, who argued that the land should instead be used for a public hospital.

The lease was for 50 years, with the possibility of a 20-year extension under Myanmar’s investment laws. Once the lease term ended, the assets would have reverted to state ownership.

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