asiamedic_MRITo meet rising demand, AsiaMedic will soon be adding one more Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine to the two it has. Photo: Company

asiamedic.wongwenghongAsiaMedic's CEO Dr Wong Weng Hong bought 11.782 million AsiaMedic shares from the open market in the 12 months after he became CEO in March 2012. He now owns a 4.3% stake in the company. NextInsight file photo. WHEN Dr Wong Weng Hong was appointed its CEO in March 2012, AsiaMedic had two core businesses -- and these were Singapore-centric.

They were radiology, which then accounted for 80% of its revenue, and health screening (20%).
Business has grown along with the rise in demand for its radiology services -- which is why AsiaMedic has gone from 1 magnetic resonance imaging machine in 2011 to 2 the following year and 3 this year. AsiaMedic has an array of other imaging equipment such as PET and CT scanners.

In its health screening business, Dr Wong turned AsiaMedic's focus on walk-in clients who paid out of their own pockets as they are not covered by corporate plans. AsiaMedic did not want to compete with big service providers such as Parkway which has locked in many corporate clients.

From 20%, the proportion of AsiaMedic's walk-in clients has risen to 50%, said Dr Wong, adding that a key secret to the success was AsiaMedic's use of its Facebook page to attract clients.

But growing two revenue streams just wasn't enough for Dr Wong.

He said in a meeting with NextInsight recently: "We can't do big investments, so I looked for sweet spots in the industry." A couple have been discovered and clinched in quick succession this year, including:

> Complete Healthcare International (CHI): AsiaMedic has acquired 80% of CHI, a general practice run by foreign, or foreign-trained, doctors whose clients are almost exclusively expatriates.

AsiaMedic's purchase consideration is up to S$2 million cash with the actual figure depending on CHI's profitability in 2013, 2014 and 2015. (Details here)

CHI's profit before income tax was S$202,000 for its financial year ended 30 June 2012.

45rochesterparkComplete Healthcare International @ Rochester Park attracts expat clients. Photo: CompanyCHI operates at 45, Rochester Park and "we are already looking to expand to a second and third clinic, and we also want to venture overseas with their brand," said Dr Wong.

To boost its revenue, CHI has started to accept, for the first time, clients whose medical treatments are covered by insurance policies. 

Previously, CHI saw only self-paying patients because, being a small practice, it was not willing to take on the risk of bad debt (which happens if a patient's condition is found later to be excluded from insurance coverage and the patient has left the country). And it didn't want to wait 2 months or so to be paid by insurers.

Astique The Aesthetic Clinic: AsiaMedic acquired certain business assets, liabilities and undertakings for S$400,000.  The consideration was 3.76 million new AsiaMedic shares priced at 10.64 cents apiece. 

AsiaMedic, which now holds an effective interest of 70% in Astique The Aesthetic Clinic, has helped market the latter's services, resulting in the business turning profitable, said Dr Wong.

> T
eleradiology services in Myanmar. This involves the transmission of radiological patient images, such as X-rays, CTs, and MRIs, from 2 Myanmar hospitals to AsiaMedic-appointed radiologists in Malaysia, India or US to interpret(Details here

In addition, AsiaMedic has entered into a Heads of Agreement with the manager of the two hospitals to set up a JV to instal a PET/CT scanner in City Hospital and a MRI scanner in Nyein Hospital in Mandalay. These scanners are expected to be installed by the second half of 2014. 

> Cord blood banking: This could prove to be a significant core business in due time. We have covered this in an article last week. See: 
ASIAMEDIC: How It Will Win Clients For Its Cord Blood Bank Business

> Synergistic Tenants: In its ambition to create a medical hub in Shaw House, AsiaMedic has leased 13,500 sq fit and an upper floor of 8,500 sq ft.

AsiaMedic has sub-leased the space to a variety of medical-related businesses which will refer patients to AsiaMedic's business. 

Earlier, in 2012, AsiaMedic ventured into China, managing a 7,000-sq ft medical centre in Shanghai and, more recently, opening a post-natal confinement centre also in Shanghai. 

China as a region could break even for AsiaMedic next year, said Dr Wong.

Top shareholders and web of relations

tanwangcheow180x200Tan Wang Cheow, non-executive chairman of AsiaMedic.anthonysalim_indofoodAnthony Salim, a controlling shareholder of AsiaMedic and one of the richest Indonesians.At the time he was appointed CEO in March 2012, Dr Wong already held 2.618 million AsiaMedic shares.

Over the next 12 months, by March 2013, he bought 11.782 million AsiaMedic shares from the open market, raising his stake to 4.3%.

AsiaMedic's chief operating officer is Mr Jonathan Joseph Tan, who used to be General Manager of Healthway Medical Group when Dr Wong was its MD and founder.

AsiaMedic's non-executive chairman is Mr Tan Wang Cheow, who already held a 4.2% stake in the company while his wife, Tan Guek Ming, 2.53%, prior to his appointment in June 2012.

Mr Tan is best known as the executive chairman of Food Empire Holdings where his wife is an executive director.

AsiaMedic's controlling shareholder (24.26%) is Grandiflora, a vehicle 50% owned by Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim. He also owns 24.81% of Food Empire.  

Anthoni Salim and his Salim Group were behind the recent privatisation efforts involving China Minzhong and Guthrie.

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