Hello! My name is B. T. J., I come from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a country in South East Asia well known for its delicious food and tropical scenery!
I studied Medicine in the United Kingdom and have practiced as a Doctor for a few years in both the UK and in Malaysia. Although I have not yet specialized in a field of medicine, I have had the opportunity to learn and practice in a few specialized fields, particularly in GI (Gastrointestinal) and in cellular immunotherapy. My main interests for Medicine is in Radiology and I have always been quite fascinated with the development of ‘big machines’ used for diagnostics.
While working in a private medical center, I had the opportunity to train in cellular immunotherapy in Japan. In 2013, I came to Tokyo and studied the Japanese language. Then I worked back and forth between a clinic in Japan practicing the use of intra-tumoral DC therapeutic vaccines for patients with solid tumors and the private medical center in Malaysia which was interested in introducing this new modality of immunotherapy to the people in Malaysia. It was through this experience that I discovered many difficulties in facilitating the understanding of advanced therapies cross-country. From this experience, I had developed interest in clinical research and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Global Collaboration Department of intellim.
I hope to be able to use my experience in clinical practice and understanding of the healthcare systems in various countries to build a strong network for clinical research for intellim internationally.
2. Were there any problems when you started to live in Japan?
Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-cultural country. Regardless of culture, we are generally very friendly to foreign expatriates and people from all walks of life.
But back in 2013, as an Asian person, it was not uncommon to be racially profiled as an illegal immigrant by the police in certain train stations.
Nowadays, I am glad to see that Japan has become a little bit more accepting towards people from many countries. I hope it continues to improve in this way.
３．Differences of Health Care System between Malaysia and Japan
Malaysia has a two-tier system for healthcare. Although Malaysia has no National Health Insurance, the Government provides basic universal healthcare to all the people in Malaysia, while a co-existing private healthcare system provides an additional ‘tier’ for better medical access and service quality.
In general, although healthcare in public hospitals are completely subsidized by the Malaysian government, the lack of resource and limited funding available for these hospitals make it very difficult for such hospitals to provide adequate quality of care to patients. Wait times in public hospitals are very long. Elective surgery commonly has a 4-6 month wait time.
Due to the above aforementioned quality of care and service concerns, Malaysians normally would prefer to pay for private healthcare out of their own pocket or through private health insurance. The heavy service price competition between private medical hospitals as well as the competitive costs of premium drugs in Malaysia has made private healthcare more affordable in comparison to other more developed countries which in turn has made Malaysia an attractive country for medical tourism.
4．Support System at intellim
As a foreigner working in Japan, there are still many Japan specific issues which I am rather unfamiliar with such as income tax, insurance and travel/disaster safety within and out of Japan. The support, advice and patience from intellim’s HR department in providing this much needed assistance for me has helped me tremendously to focus on my work in Japan.
As mentioned in interviews prior to this, intellim’s flex hours is particularly helpful and unique. I appreciate intellim trust in us to work responsibly while giving us the flexibility and opportunity to balance our time between work and family.
５．My goals, dreams
1. To build intellim Holdings into the No. #1 CRO in Asia!
2. Take over the world!!! Get more global projects! Have intellim stand tall above all other global CROs!
６．Message to people who want to work in Japan
Work smart, respect the culture, appreciate your colleagues and integrate yourself into the work ethic and expectations of Japan.