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Chairman of IMU Group Awarded Numerous Accolades for Medical and Healthcare Sector

15 Aug 2018

Visionary, Knowledgeable and Austere. These are the common words that comes to mind when the name Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman comes into conversation. With close to 50 years of experience in the medical and healthcare industry, Dr Abu Bakar is a well-respected and prominent figure whom have inspired many; be it fellow colleagues, patients or even those who may have briefly crossed path. Recognised for his immense contribution to the industry, Dr Abu Bakar was recently awarded the BIM Professional Excellence Award for the Medical and Healthcare Category by the Balai Ikhtisas Malaysia on 24 July 2018. Guest of Honour, YB Tuan Baru Bian, Minister of Works presented the awards which includes the Excellence Award for Engineering, Construction and Property category won by Dato’ Ir Dr Gue See Sew during the 45th BIM Annual Dinner held at the Sheraton Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Attended by over 300 professionals from over 20 industries, this prestigious award was judged by an executive committee based on several criteria, such as academic qualifications, contribution and length of service. Nominees were elected by each professional association for its respective category.

During the same week, Dr Abu Bakar was conferred the MSN Fellowship Award by the Malaysian Society of Nephrology (MSN) on 27 July 2018. The Fellowship Award was introduced this year to recognise members who had contributed significantly to the society and country in general. The selection criteria include contribution to society, nephrology or administrative services and training and research. The recipient must also be a member of MSN for at least 12 years. Dr Abu Bakar was one of the founding members and served as president of MSN from 1984-86. With his passion centred on acute renal failure, lupus nephritis and renal transplantation, he played a significant and pioneering role in the development of nephrology in the country.

Patient care was always his priority. Doctors, trainees and staff are reminded that it is not just enough to keep patients alive, but they are to have some quality of life.

To be a good doctor, you must first be a good human being Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar
In 1968, he graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from Monash University, Australia. He completed his postgraduate training in Nephrology in 1974 and became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians (FRACP). Upon returning to Malaysia in 1976, when he joined Hospital Kuala Lumpur, he took over the management of Haemodialysis Unit when the Department of Nephrology was formed and reorganised it. Being the only nephrologist in the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr Abu Bakar emphasised on training and human resource development. He has successfully set up the Post Basic renal nursing, a six-month course for nurses which to date has produced hundreds of trained nurses who form the backbone of the dialysis programme. Similarly, he started a training programme for Nephrologists who are notable and distinguished practitioners today. Due to the limited resources and facilities for patients to receive the care they needed, Dr Abu Bakar also developed home dialysis in a relatively big way to enable patients to receive the necessary treatments in the most remote corner of the country. This innovation in promoting self-haemodialysis paved the way for large numbers of patients to be treated economically in Malaysia. Dr Abu Bakar was Consultant Nephrologist and Head, Department of Nephrology in Hospital Kuala Lumpur from 1976 to 1987. In April 1987 he was appointed the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health. Two years later he was promoted to the position of Deputy Director General of Health. He remained in this capacity until November 1991 when he was promoted to Director General of Health. He was ultimately responsible for the quality and accessibility of all aspects and at all levels of the delivery of healthcare. He worked to persuade the large and growing private health sector to pursue common national goals. In his official capacity, he chaired over 20 professional regulatory, advisory, registration and licensing boards and councils at the national level. He also represented the nation at the regional and global level. He is president of a range of national medical organisations, including the Malaysian Health Informatics Association, the National Kidney Foundation and the Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia. Abu Bakar also served as president of the Malaysian Medical Association from 1986-87.

On 1 March 2001, Dr Abu Bakar joined the International Medical University (IMU) as President. Through his outstanding leadership and vision, the university has been transformed to a leading provider of education and training for healthcare professionals in Malaysia and the region. In 2016, he transferred the leadership to Prof Abdul Aziz while remaining as the President of IMU Group and later assume the position as Chairman of IMU Group in 2018

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar was also awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award 2017” on 11 November 2017 by the College of Physicians, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.

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