Monthly Archives: March 2015

Join the Sungai Long fun run

THE Sungai Long Medical Centre (SLMC) is having a “fun run” on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at 6.15am in Bandar Sungai Long.

SLMC business development manager David Fong said the SLMC Fun Run, which started in 2013, is currently in its third instalment.

The Sungai Long Medical Centre is a community hospital, and the main purpose of the event is to encourage people who live in the vicinity to exercise more for a healthy lifestyle that will lead to an enriched life.

Currently, there are about 40 senior citizens (aged 60 and above) registered for the SLMC Fun Run, and we hope more senior citizens will join the run,” he said, explaining that the event is expected to attract 2,500 runners.

The SLMC Fun Run is divided into two categories – 5km and 10km. The registration fee is RM20 and RM25 respectively (includes the event T-shirt, water, light snacks and a certificate).

To register and for enquiries, email or call (03) 9010-3788 / (013) 331-3313. Registration closes on March 31, 2015.

Ministries must work together for aged care

ACCESSIBILITY, affordability and quality are the three important components needed for an effective healthcare system.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said this in his opening keynote address at the recent ASLI Healthcare Forum 2015 in Serdang.

The forum, themed “Malaysian Healthcare: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges”, saw the participation of a number of healthcare industry leaders and professionals.

Subramaniam said the government envisions better healthcare and the provision of a better aged care system through the co-operation of the public and private healthcare sectors.

Agreeing with him, Carol Yip, CEO of Aged Care Group (ACG), said that aged care must be addressed holistically and encompass not just the Health Ministry.

Yip was one of the panellists for the “Tapping the ‘Gold’ in Golden Years: Aged Care and Retirement Tourism” discussion.

She said that although services are provided by the public and private sectors as well as non- governmental organisations (NGOs), the government still plays an important role in policymaking and as the regulatory body.

She believes that healthcare and aged care must also involve the Ministries of Finance, Transport, Housing and Local Government, Education, Human Resources as well as Women, Family and Community Development.

“When we age, we do not just talk about our health. We need more than just money, for instance, to support our retirement life; there is also infrastructure, our living space, transportation, accessibility and mobility of the elderly in public areas, and not forgetting manpower, and caregivers to look after the elderly, especially those who are dependent,” said Yip.

According to Datuk Dr Jacob Thomas, president of the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM), with the implementation of GST (goods and services tax) in April, the costs for healthcare, especially in the private sector, would be higher and this would naturally include healthcare for the aged.

Yip pointed out that as Malaysia is not a social welfare country, people need to save up for retirement so that they can pay for aged care services.

According to her, sustainability, affordability and quality aged care are important factors.

“Taking care of the elderly is not about sitting next to them and watching television together. You need skills. You do not learn this in school. Even if you learned it, you need to practise it. That is why the Education Ministry and Human Resources Ministry must come onboard. We need a supply of trained caregivers because elderly nursing care can be very costly,” she said.

She highlighted the issues and challenges faced by the aged care industry in Malaysia, including staffing, rehabilitation services, caregiving training, care assessment tools, recreational activities for elderly and infrastructure modification.

“ACG is a platform; we want to work with everyone. This cannot be done alone because it is a national issue, not a local issue. We are here to collaborate with everyone today.

“We want to educate the public. In line with this, ACG has created its first information portal for the elderly called We want to make it a place where Malaysians can get information and find solutions,” said Yip.

She informed that the portal, currently available in English and Chinese, will also have Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil versions in the future.

According to her, ACG is currently setting up a day care centre that runs a unique programme aimed at serving the full spectrum of aged care needs. Called the Circles Enriched Living Programme, it will cover the physical, mental, emotional, social and financial aspects of an elderly person’s life.

* There is currently a pilot Circles Enriched Living Programme at the Sungai Long Medical Centre (2nd floor) in Bandar Sungai Long, Kajang, Selangor. The operation hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am-4pm. For more information, call (03) 9010-3788 ext 216 or (010) 213-5023.

UTAR inks MoU with Aged Care Group

UTAR and Aged Care Group Sdn Bhd (ACG) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on areas of health care services for the aged. The MoU was signed in a ceremony which was held at the UTAR Sg Long Campus on 24 March 2015.

Signing the MoU on behalf of UTAR was its President Ir. Prof Academician Dato’ Dr. Chuah Hean Teik, and for ACG, it was the Chairman Datin Choo Lein Sei Keng. The witnesses for the signing were UTAR Head of Department of Chinese Medicine Dr Te Kian Keong, and ACG Chief Executive Officer Ms Carol Yip. Also present was ACG Managing Director Dato’ Frank Choo Chuo Siong who delivered a speech on behalf of ACG.

Dato’ Frank Choo said, “Education is of vital importance and this collaboration will assist the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) students to attain some practical training in an actual environment and work with the aged to gain the relevant experience and skills.’ Dato’ Frank further emphasised that the practice of TCM consultation and services at ACG’s aged care facilities, which doubles as teaching avenues, will serve to provide recognition and develop the professional capacity of UTAR TCM students and academic staff.

Speaking on the benefits of this strategic partnership, Prof Chuah said, “There will be more demand for healthcare professionals in the years ahead. The number of Malaysians aged 60 years and older is projected to increase to 3.4 million by 2020 or 9.9% of the total population. Hence, this collaboration will provide additional training for our students especially on long term healthcare for the elderly. This is also in line with UTAR’s holistic and academic rigour to provide quality training for our students to be employment-ready and be better healthcare professionals.”

The MoU establishes a synergistic relationship for UTAR and ACG through internship and volunteering opportunities for UTAR students in TCM, Physiotherapy, Nursing and other relevant programmes.

Source: Utar

How Prepared Are You For Retirement?

Sustaining a decent post-retirement lifestyle and care requires planning, and truth be told, we are running out of time every day.

A storm of ageing is coming and many a Malaysian is not prepared for the pension crisis fallout that is hurtling our way as Asia ages at a rapid pace. According to Lim Eng Seong, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth of HSBC, the Malaysian population aged 60 years and above will exceed the younger population aged 0-14 in 2049 as Malaysia’s population increases by 31.4% over the next 20 years.

That is an astounding over 37 million by 2030. HSBC cited in their recent ‘Future of Retirement’ survey that the two contributing factors to the under-preparation for retirement in Asia are; Asians saving too late in life and not planning for the unexpected. According to the survey which covered 16, 000 people in 15 countries, two out of every five retirees who had insufficient savings said they weren’t aware of the problem until they retired and many had not built safety margins against unexpected events or expenses such as rising late life medical costs, accidents, illness, unemployment, or other life events.

In Malaysia, the respondents stated that life events such as paying for their children’s education and buying a home and paying the mortgage impacted their ability to save for retirement, resulting in a concern about insufficient funds to last through retirement. Only 15% were confident in maintaining a comfortable standard of living post-retirement.

Private Pension Administrator Malaysia (PPA) has noted that Malaysians had the tendency to assume that their EPF savings will carry them through their retirement, yet the fact of the matter is 72% of EPF members had only accumulated savings at a mere RM50, 000 or less by the age of 54.

72% of EPF members had only accumulated savings at a mere RM50, 000 or less by the age of 54.

Coupled with the fact that readjusting to a post-retirement lifestyle from a pre-retirement one is difficult not only due to continuously rising inflation and medical costs, but also because spending habits developed over a long period of time before retirement is hard to break, 50% of Malaysian retirees end up blowing all of it in five years!

Additionally many Malaysians assume that their children will be able to take care of them during old age when it is more likely that the adult children, likewise impacted by inflation factors as well, will struggle to support them in addition to caring for their own families. The resulting anxiety is aggravated further in the later stages of retirement as quality services for aged and nursing care becomes an increasingly prominent factor.

However, much of the retirement risks stated thus far could be mitigated with proper financial planning. You must pursue financial literacy now through financial literacy programmes such as the National Financial Education Programme, which was suggested in the PEMANDU Economic Transformation Programme or programmes designed and conducted by Bank Negara Malaysia through a joint venture of both public and private sectors.

First Published in Smart Investor | March 2015 | Issue 299

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