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Looks Can Be Deceiving: How GE Tech Is Changing Healthcare In Myanmar From The Inside Out

August 26, 2017
By Jaiden Coonan
At first glance, the Bahosi hospital in Myanmar may not catch your eye.  It is humbly tucked away on a busy street corner in downtown Yangon, hidden among other offices and apartment buildings. Parts of its weathered façade are cracked and interwoven with vines, as the jungle fights to reclaim territory lost to the city.

But while the hospital may only boast fading paint on the outside, what it contains on the inside brings meaning to the classic phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Once indoors, Bahosi’s porcelain halls gleam with the shine of the latest and most advanced healthcare technology. The hospital received imaging machines such as CT scanners and ultrasounds, which have breathed new life into the building’s tired walls.

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Dr. Yin Yin Kyu, Bahosi’s Clinical Assistant-Director, proudly explains how this new technology has impacted their patients.

“After receiving these ultrasound machines and CT scanners, we are able to diagnose patients much faster and ultimately provide better and more reliable care.” says Dr. Yin Yin Kyu.

Bahosi, in many ways, is a symbol for Myanmar’s overall healthcare system. Much like the hospital’s exterior, the country’s healthcare infrastructure became outdated due to years of economic sanctions and isolation. With the easing of sanctions over the last six years, the country’s healthcare sector has been rapidly modernizing.

GE was one of the first American companies to re-enter Myanmar following the easing of sanctions and has provided several hundred medical devices to hospitals and clinics around the country, starting with those that now sit glistening in Bahosi.

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“[Bahosi] was the first hospital in Myanmar to have GE machines installed immediately after lifting the US sanctions,” remembers Dr. Yin Yin Kyu. “US Ambassador to Myanmar, Mr. Derek Mitchell, was present at the handover.”

But GE isn’t only helping revitalize private hospitals like Bahosi. It is also teaming up directly with the country’s Ministry of Health. More formally known as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), these agreements are viewed as a promising way to address country’s healthcare challenges.

One such challenge GE and the Ministry of Health are addressing together is training. Understanding how to operate medical equipment is crucial for accurate diagnosis and reliable care, but the machines are not as simple as flipping a switch. That’s why the Myanmar government worked with GE to select imaging systems for the nation’s biggest teaching and public hospitals used for more innovative training of medical professionals.
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