KUCHING, Sept 3 — Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg tonight said the state government aims to make Sarawak the centre for medical reference on the island of Borneo in line with the improvement of the state’s economy over the past few years.

He said the state can become the hub for medical care if it can provide good medical services, not just for patients from Sarawak, but also from Kalimantan and Brunei.

“Therefore, we want to upgrade all the facilities at the Normah Medical Specialist Centre (NMSC) and as our friends from Indonesia are going to move to their new national capital Nusantara, we can provide medical care for them,” he said at the 35th anniversary of the state-owned NMSC.

The premier said the state government has endorsed the construction of a new 320-bed NMSC by a river’s edge in Santubong peninsula, to cater for more patients from Borneo.

He said the new state-of-the-art hospital will be equipped with the most advanced medical technologies.

He said when completed it will offer patients an environment that nurtures healing and tranquillity as they receive their treatment.

“We will also make the new hospital environmentally friendly and complement it with a shopping complex and hotel.

“This holistic ecosystem aims to provide patients and their families with comfort and convenience,” he added.

The present 130-bed NMSC in Petra Jaya was built in 1988 in memory of the late Toh Puan Normah, the wife of the late Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakob.

Abang Johari reassured that the state government will continue to support NMSC in its unrelenting pursuit of innovation, research, medical excellence, and delivering high-quality healthcare to the community

The premier also announced a two-month incentive to medical personnel and staff of NMSC to show the state government’s gratitude for their dedication and effort.