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More hospitals seen going green in Southeast Asia

Demand for green hospitals is expected to rise in South-east Asia as the healthcare industry continues to look for ways to cut energy and resource consumption, says GE Healthcare.

‘An increasing number of healthcare facilities will be built in Singapore and South-east Asia over the next five to 10 years, which will lead to growth in demand for green solutions that help hospitals reduce their carbon footprint and achieve resource optimisation,’ said Tommy Tan, Asean government relations director for GE Healthcare, a unit of the General Electric Company.

Hospitals typically use three times as much energy as commercial buildings, so significant cost-savings can be had from going green.

This could be achieved by more efficient water, energy and waste management, more environmentally friendly facilities and better design lay-out to boost productivity.

‘Unlike green buildings, green hospitals are a fairly new concept in this region,’ said Mr Tan. ‘Most hospitals would have implemented such concepts in bits and pieces. We want to see the industry embrace the concept of green hospitals.’

Implementing such features once a hospital is up and running could require more effort.

In Singapore, GE Healthcare has been working with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), Alexandra Hospital and the National University Hospital (NUH).

For example, it has implemented its Radiology Information System and Picture Archival and Communication System at TTSH and NUH to help them digitise their radiology departments. According to Mr Tan, the systems reduce the steps required to process an X-Ray, resulting in reduced film and chemical use, reduced storage space and greater efficiency.

‘What we are doing next is to tie all the green concepts specifically for hospitals,’ he said. ‘We have already started conversations with public and private hospitals here.’

Besides Singapore, markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are also open to adopting green concepts when it comes to the healthcare industry, Mr Tan said.

Last year, GE Healthcare generated US$143 million of revenue from its Asean businesses.

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