Oman's government has announced the establishment of a top-level committee to oversee the implementation of its $1.5bn Medical City project.
The project, named after the country’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos, will cover five million square metres and include residential space and shopping malls as well as hospitals.
Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Sa'eedi, Minister of Health, has issued a ministerial decision to establish a supervisory committee "to study and analyze all projects and proposals relating to the establishment of the Sultan Qaboos Medical City", Oman News Agency reported.
The committee, headed by Dr Ali bin Talib al-Hinai, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning Affairs, will also include Dr Mohammed bin Saif al-Hosani, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Health Affairs, Dr Darwish bin Saif al-Maharbi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Administrative and Financial Affairs, Dr Sultan bin Ya'rub al-Busaidi, Ministry's Advisor for Health Affairs and a number of the Ministry's officials, the news agency added.
The committee will examine all aspects of the city's project, including the appointment of a specialist consultant to develop an integrated project plan.
Plams for the medical city were announced in January, with the project management tender expected to be floated this year to build the project in northern Batnah.
Batnah is a northern coastal region which is the most populated area in Oman after the capital Muscat.
Oman built its last major hospital 20 years ago and a growing population is stretching the Gulf Arab state's health care. The population is expanding at 4 percent a year; the latest official census shows there are 3.2 million people in the sultanate, of which 1.3 million are foreign workers.
Oman is spending heavily on its infrastructure, taking advantage of a windfall from oil revenues. The sultanate envisages total state spending of OR12.9bn in 2013, up nearly 30 percent from the 2012 plan and roughly level with actual expenditure last year, which came in well over budget.