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VIETNAM: Fortis Healthcare on international acquisition trail | Global Medical Tourism

Fortis Healthcare International, the Singapore-based holding company owned by India’s billionaire Singh brothers, Malvinder and Shivinder, has agreed to buy a 65% stake in Vietnam’s Hoan My Medical Corporation for USD 64 million, as part of Fortis’ plans to expand its healthcare business in Asia and Australia.

Malvinder Mohan Singh of Fortis says, “This acquisition is an important step for Fortis Healthcare International to establish its presence in one of Asia’s fastest growing regions. Hoan My Medical Corporation has a strong foundation in Vietnam, which we will strengthen further with our group’s experience of more than 20 years in operating  hospitals.” The acquisition will bolster Fortis International in creating an integrated healthcare delivery system across all segments including primary care, specialty day care, diagnostics and hospitals in the Asia-Pacific region.

Established in 1997, Hoan My Medical Corporation is one of Vietnam’s largest private healthcare provider groups with 700 beds across five hospitals. It will open a 200-bed care hospital in Ho Chi Minh City in November 2011. Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world, with a population of around 89 million, and it is a fast growing economy with a huge opportunity to consolidate and establish a high-quality, patient-centric hospital network.

It is the company’s sixth investment in eight months and is an important step in consolidating its presence in the healthcare market in the Asia-Pacific region. Fortis completed the acquisition of Quality Healthcare, the largest primary healthcare network in Hong Kong, in November, 2010. In January, 2011, it acquired 30 % of Australia’s largest dental care chain Dental Corporation Holdings.

Other international healthcare groups see Vietnam as having potential. Happy Hospital owned by Singapore’s Thomson Medical Centre, is planning to expand investment in Vietnam. Vien Dong Co Ltd invested in the France-Viet Nam Hospital in HCM City. Singapore is considered the country with the greatest potential among foreign investors involved in Vietnam’s health service. Recently, Parkway Health of Singapore, entered the Vietnamese market by becoming manager of the HCM City high-tech health centre.

Parkway is a leading healthcare group based in Singapore, operating 16 hospitals with more than 3000 beds in Asia. The international network spans Asia, Europe and the Middle East with patient assistance centres in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

While Fortis and Parkway are concentrating on global expansion primarily aimed at treating local people, their ever-expanding global networks will increasingly be used as multinational medical tourism destinations where customers can always find a hospital that shares their culture and language. In due course, both global giants will have great international brand values that they can capitalise on with marketing and advertising power and international patient centres – that will remove small medical tourism agencies from the process.  

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