Parliament OKs Review of Private Hospital Project in Rangoon

By Kyaw Phyo Tha 4 May 2016

RANGOON — Parliament has given the green-light to discuss the future of a plot of ministry-owned land in Rangoon after a lawmaker objected to its use by the private sector.

San Shwe Win, a National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker in the Lower House, submitted a proposal on Wednesday urging the national government to halt a US$70 million international hospital project being built on land owned by the Ministry of Health near Rangoon General Hospital.

Situated on a 4.3-acre plot of land at the corner of Pyay and Bogyoke Aung San roads, IHH Healthcare Berhad, through its subsidiary Parkway Healthcare Indo-China Pte. Ltd., broke ground for the 250-bed hospital in Rangoon in January. However, the project was quickly panned by critics who said it would only siphon off government land for private use.

“The plot of land has been earmarked for the expansion of RGH [Rangoon General Hospital] since 2013,” San Shwe Win said when he submitted his proposal to the Lower House.

The lawmaker said the land should be used for the public since Rangoon residents overwhelmingly rely on public hospitals for medical care.

“The reality is that most people can’t afford private hospitals. There was no transparency or consideration for the public interest when the [previous] government and the Myanmar Investment Commission made the deal. That’s why I urge the Union government to halt this project,” San Shwe Win said.

According to an IHH Healthcare statement from February, the site of the new hospital, Parkway Yangon, is on land leased for 50 years, with the option of two 10-year extensions. The project was said to be slated for completion by 2020.

San Shwe Win’s proposal, which was seconded by a fellow NLD lawmaker, did not face any opposition from Parliament and is scheduled for further discussion next week.