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HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Raffles Medical's Chongqing hospital hit by weak patient volumes in Q1

It aims to raise its patient stream by boosting its cardiology services and IVF.

Raffles Medical Group’s hospital in Chongqing was hit by seasonality weakness in Q1 as it has seen nearly 500 patients and a few dozen procedures.

“Pricing is comparable to other private hospitals, but certain promotions and discounts are being given out in a bid to drive initial volumes,” said OCBC Investment Research analyst Joseph Ng.

For EBITDA losses in subsequent quarters, the management does not expect a significant step-up beyond the $1.8m mark which was registered in Q1.

Meanwhile, Ng noted that staff count seems roughly unchanged from the previous quarter (~200 staff), as management continues to exercise cost discipline, given the nascent stage of operations.

“Raffles Hospital Chongqing currently offers practices such as paediatrics, O&G and internal medicine, but is looking to provide other services including cardiology and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the days ahead. We understand that management is currently working with a number of international insurance companies, MNCs and state-owned enterprises to build up its patient stream,” Ng said.

As for the group’s Shanghai hospital, construction seems to be on track with completion scheduled for end-2019, with operations likely to commence after the Chinese New Year festivities in 2020.

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