PETALING JAYA: Medical/healthcare beds, peripherals and accessories provider LKL International Bhd is hopeful that the upcoming Budget 2019 will include significant initiatives to enhance healthcare services in Malaysia. Managing director Lim Kon Lian said in a statement that there is a significant gap to close in Malaysia’s hospital bed-to-population ratio to ensure that Malaysians have reliable access to quality healthcare. Lim said this issue would become more acute in the future, with 20% of the Malaysian population reaching over 60 years old by 2050. Therefore, he said the group is hopeful that the government would address this concern by allocating more resources for healthcare facilities, in addition to incentives to encourage investments from the private sector. “At our end, to effectively meet the anticipated growth in orders from our customers in the longer term, we plan to enhance our manufacturing facilities in Seri Kembangan by building a new four-storey steel structure extension, which we expect to complete by 2021. “This would boost our capacity and capabilities to scale up our production in line with future demand,” Lim said. The new structure, which would require estimated capital expenditure of RM6.7 million, will increase the total built-up area of the manufacturing plants by 37,400 sq ft or 40.8% to 129,140 sq ft, from 91,740 sq ft currently. The steel structure extension is expected to be operational in the third quarter of the financial year ending April 30, 2021. LKL also intends to increase its product range further by adding new medical products to its portfolio, so that medical practitioners are able to provide better diagnosis to patients, perform more complex procedures, and increase patient comfort.