As part of TE Asia’s regional expansion plan in specialty healthcare, the first Singapore Breast Centre facility is now operational at Royal Square Medical Centre with a second to open at Paragon Medical Centre in October.
Afflicting about 1 in 11 women, breast cancer is the number one form of cancer among women in Singapore. As a part of its regional expansion plan, TE Asia Healthcare Partners, a specialty healthcare group, said it will have two centres dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in Singapore by the end of the year. The first at Royal Square Medical Centre in Novena is now operational.
The second at Paragon Medical Centre will open in October. Together, Singapore Breast Surgery Centre (SBSC), a TE Asia subsidiary, aims to provide breast cancer care with a shorter time between diagnoses and treatments. The services offered by SBSC include diagnoses, such as imaging-guided biopsies and intervention, counselling, lab tests, surgical treatment, and post-cancer care.
SBSC is the first medical centre outside a government or private hospital to be able to provide a range of services for breast cancer care at its premises with a dedicated subspecialised team.
Philip Jeng, CEO of SBSC, said, “Breast cancer is a highly treatable form of cancer if detected early. At SBSC, we want to ensure that our patients have quick and affordable access to experienced doctors using technology specially designed to diagnose and treat breast cancer.”
SBSC’s imaging services operate under the Luma Women Imaging brand and is headed by Dr. Eugene Ong, a well-respected radiologist among breast surgeons and physicians in Singapore. His expertise ranges from screening mammography to complex cases involving multi-modality imaging and challenging biopsy and localisation procedures.
Dr. Ong, who is Imaging Director, Consultant Radiologist and Co-Founder of Luma, said: “At Luma, we understand the unique requirements of each patient with breast disease. The combination of imaging and interventional procedures required for each patient is different, and we are experienced in providing bespoke care tailored to each individual patient.
“The dedicated team at Luma is built around these requirements and each piece of equipment within the centre is also carefully selected.”
By way of example, Dr. Ong cited the 3D mammographic imaging with lower radiation dose and enhanced disease detection compared to 2D mammographic imaging.
These machines reduce discomfort during breast compression with the special flexible compression paddles. The diagnostic software is also equipped with computer-aided diagnosis using artificial intelligence.
“Many of the patients whom we have cared for have given very encouraging feedback on their experience at our centre,” added Dr. Ong.
SBSC’s surgery services are marketed under the Solis Breast Care and Surgery brand and currently comprise three breast cancer surgeons from the private sector, with plans to expand this to five within the next 12 months. Dr. Tan Yah Yuen, who is Medical Director and Co-Founder of Solis, has been in private practice for over 10 years.
Dr. Tan said, “By bringing together an experienced team of subspecialised breast radiologists, surgeons, nurses and allied health personnel, we can make the patient’s journey less stressful. We aim to provide more positive outcomes in complex cases with a focused approach, for example, working with specialised dedicated breast radiologists. We also harness new technologies in diagnosis and surgical treatments to improve breast cancer outcomes.”
SBSC’s full-time staff of 23 at its 4,450 sq ft Royal Square centre includes nurses and technical staff. It will step up recruitment ahead of the opening of the 7,815 sq ft centre at Paragon in four months, and expand its staffing to nearly 40.
Mr Jeng said around 80 per cent of diagnostic procedures and surgeries and 50 per cent of therapeutic surgeries can be done in a day-surgery setting, leading to significant cost savings for patients.
Although TE Asia is based in Singapore, SBSC is its first investment here. Its portfolio of investee companies built up since 2014 is focused on three medical specialties – oncology, cardiology, and orthopaedics.
In oncology, TE Asia’s Integrated Oncology Centre operates in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, employing over 900 doctors, nurses and support staff. In cardiology, it owns the Cardiac Vascular Sentral in Kuala Lumpur and Heartology Cardiovascular Centre in Jakarta, with combined staff strength of 400, while in orthopaedics, its 200-strong HSC Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur was recently repurposed for treating the musculoskeletal system.
TE Asia was founded in 2014 by Mr Eng Aik Meng, a veteran in the shipping industry, and US private equity giant, TPG. The firm has to date invested around US$170 million in its portfolio of companies and will be scaling up in the next 18 months in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia where demand for specialty care is rising.
Doctors who join TE Asia’s network have a big say in how the operations are run and they work with the management of TE Asia to pool and optimise resources across the network including the sharing of expertise and experience. [APBN]
Source: TE Asia Healthcare Partners Pte. Ltd.