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Novena Global Lifecare buys S$20m stake in 2 day surgery centres

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The centres, Aptus Surgery Centre at Paragon Medical Centre and Novaptus Surgery Centre at Camden Medical Centre, are located in the Orchard Road area.

SINGAPORE'S Novena Global Lifecare has bought a 55 per cent stake in two day surgery centres in a deal worth up to S$20 million, the integrated medical healthcare and aesthetics group said on Tuesday.

The group made a capital injection in the holding company which owns both centres in exchange for new shares, it told The Business Times (BT) on Tuesday. 

The centres, Aptus Surgery Centre at Paragon Medical Centre and Novaptus Surgery Centre at Camden Medical Centre, are located in the Orchard Road area. They each have four operating theatres equipped for plastic, dental and eye procedures, among other types of surgeries.

Novena Global Lifecare will become the largest single shareholder in the centres following the stake acquisition. The two centres will be renamed Novena Global Surgery by the first half of 2020.

Both centres will be parked under Novena Global Surgery, a Novena Global Lifecare subsidiary. Lim Beng Hai, chairman of the board of directors of the two centres, will be appointed as medical director of the subsidiary.

Novena Global Lifecare, known for running aesthetics chain Novu Aesthetics, was founded in 2010 by investment bankers and cousins Terence Loh and Nelson Loh. It has a presence in markets such as China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Malaysia. Its parent company is DORR Group, a private investment company.

Mr Terence Loh, co-founder of DORR Group said day surgery centres are known to be more cost-effective as they help patients to save time and costs. He said acquiring the centres is in line with Novena Global Lifecare's practice of providing affordable healthcare to clients.

In a statement to BT, Mr Nelson Loh said the funds injected will be used to expand existing operations and extend reach in regional markets. He added that there are also plans to build a third centre in "the western part of Singapore".   

Day surgery centres are same-day surgery centres equipped to handle procedures needing sedation or general anaesthesia. They help to relieve the demand for hospital beds and are also a more cost-effective service for patients who need surgeries that do not require an overnight hospital stay. There were 20 such Ministry of Health-approved centres in 2019.

Lim Cheok Peng, the group's senior medical adviser who is also the former managing director and chief executive of Parkway Holdings, said the acquisition will be a value-added offering by the group as it looks to enlarge its Singapore health services businesses.