Malaysia’s heart hospital Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) is set to further expand its reach by establishing new cardiac centres outside Kuala Lumpur, The Edge Markets reported.

Initially, the hospital will focus on further expanding its healthcare facility located in Jalan Tun Razak to treat more overseas patients.

Currently, IJN is said to be in advance stage talks to open hospitals in Penang and Johor regions, and the first branch hospital is likely to open by 2026.

IJN CEO Datuk Dr Aizai Azan Abdul Rahim was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “This expansion is a significant part of our medium-term plan in our pursuit of improving healthcare access and widening our patient base.

“We are keen to expand our services to encompass the east coast, southern and northern regions.”

Additionally, the hospital is reportedly planning to expand its existing facility with an intent to construct two new blocks which will take place in two phases.

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Completion of the first phase is planned in the second quarter of next year and second phase in 2027.

Once completed, the 11-storey hospital building will have the capacity to cater to 120 patients initially.

Phase I works will see the addition of 600 more car parking bays as well as construction of rooftop surau, new kitchen and a childcare facility for the staff families with an investment of RM74.5m ($16.8m).

As part of its expansion initiative, IJN has also partnered with Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) in Terengganu.

Under this partnership, IJN will operate a cardiac clinic in Hospital Pengajar Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin that is built by UniSza and is slated become operational by the middle of next year.

IJN is also establishing a chain of retail pharmacies, with plans to open two outlets in the Klang Valley next year and one in Terengganu in 2024.