Saudi health firm eyes $259m Oman expansion

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Saudi medical group Shifa Al Jazeera said on Sunday it will invest OR100m ($259m) to set up 13 medical centres in Oman.

The company said it has initial plans to set up two new hospitals in Ruwi and Al Qwair and one medical centre in Barka.

These hospitals will have 150 beds and will be ready for operations by the first quarter of 2014, it said in a statement.

KT Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeullh, chairman and managing director, said that the entry into Oman was part of a larger plan to introduce comprehensive healthcare across the sultanate in phases.

The Oman expansion follows the group's expansion of its operations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.

Rabeeullh said the first phase construction contract has been awarded to Alisco.

He added that the group is also planning to build hospitals in Al Khoud, Sohar and Salalah and medical centers in Duqum, Suwaiq, Khaboura, Buraimi, Ibri and Falaj Al Kabail as part of its second phase of expansion.

Rabeeullh said: "We are committed to being recognised in Oman and internationally as a leader in holistic healthcare by offering high-quality ethical, evidence-based medicine focused on customer service and hospitality.

"This expansion plan reflects how we are realising this goal by using forward-looking research and best-in-class systems of operation.

"We have been providing quality healthcare services to the people at the lowest costs compared to any private hospital in any of our operating markets. We will follow the same formula in Oman."

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Posted by: Mona Chadha

That is a great move by the government of saudi, however the focus should also be on bringing in state of the art personalized genomics medicine to the region.
The medicine trend in the west is moving towards targeted therapy based on genetic biomarkers - inherited markers ( genotyping) or acquired/ environmental gene expression markers. It is known that there are regional biomarkers in patient populations. These unique markers need to be identifies for arab population for diseases such as cardiovascular , diabetes and cancer by sequencing of the arab genomes. Similar to the initiative taken by the govenrment to sequence 100 arab genomes by Beijing genome centre but this is too small a sample size.
The know how of the Arab genome needs to be expanded beyond the 100 to have statistically relevant disease specific individals and identify Arab population specific biomarkers that play a role in identifying disease & treatment. I will be happy to help.

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