Parkway Pantai Ltd and IHH Healthcare Bhd Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tan See Ling, said Sabah had become an obvious choice, having seen the need to leverage the quality of health services here, and the city being the entry point to the regional healthcare market.
"We hope to be able to help in making the city a medical tourism destination like Balik Papan and Samarinda, Indonesia, while we (Gleneagles) can leverage the quality of medical care in Sabah.
"We could not have chosen a better location than Kota Kinabalu, as it is the port of call in East Malaysia and Borneo," he said at the topping up ceremony for the hospital project, here, Tuesday.
The hospital will be their first entry into East Malaysia, having set up two hospitals before, one in Penang and in Kuala Lumpur.
Parkway Pantai Ltd, a subsidiary of IHH Healthcare Bhd, currently holds 15 per cent of the country's healthcare market share, having 158,000 admissions each year from 12 multi-disciplinary hospitals via two brands - The Pantai and Gleneagles hospitals.
For Sabah, Gleneagles Hospital will have 200 beds, 80 doctors' suites, six operating theatres, a 24-hour accident emergency department with trauma and intensive care centre and cardiac cath lab as key facilities, with a manpower of 300.
About 80 per cent of the positions have been assigned to Sabahans in professional, non-professional and support staff, with some returning doctors from United Kingdom and Singapore and the peninsula.
According to Dr Tan, they plan to woo more Sabahan doctors working in other countries and in the peninsula back and serve locally, as suggested by the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Musa had, in his speech, noted that some Sabahans who are working in the medical line have opted to work elsewhere due to "greener pastures."
"This is due to lack of private healthcare in Sabah," said Musa, adding that he hoped with the entry of Gleneagles it will create a reverse trend.
His speech was read by the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
Musa noted having them back here is an opportunity to stop the brain drain and retain its talents here in Sabah.