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Tue 12 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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City Hospital set for Q2 opening

Arab Health saw the unveiling of City Hospital, a US $100 million complex set to open in Dubai Healthcare City later this year.

Arab Health saw the unveiling of City Hospital, a US $100 million complex set to open in Dubai Healthcare City later this year.

The facility, a joint venture between Medi-Clinic International, the Varkey Group and General Electric, is on course to be the first hospital in DHCC to open its doors for business, earning it an opportunity to secure an early share of the market.

The centre will eventually be squaring up to heavyweight competitors, such as University Hospital - a teaching establishment affiliated with Harvard Medical International.

Hospital manager David Hadley admitted rival facilities could impact on the facility's patient base, but said he is confident the hospital will carve a niche in the local market.

"Hospitals are what we do - it's our primary business," he said.

"We [Medi-Clinic] have almost 70 hospitals around the world, so we understand the model and we are confident about what we can provide."

"There's a lot of hype in the market at the moment but competition is good - it keeps you on your toes; it makes sure you look after your staff."

"We're aware of the competition, but we're certainly not afraid of it."

The hospital hopes to appeal to - and retain - the local market by combining hotel-style service with solid healthcare.

The facility will have a service manager specifically employed to oversee its hospitality services, which include in-room patient entertainment systems, online ordering, and catering.

"Primarily, we want to be a good healthcare facility, but the hospitality side is required now," said Hadley.

"People judge you more on your food than your healthcare sometimes."

"These are the services that affect you as a patient, that you are aware of and can take note of."

Careful pricing structures are also a crucial factor in the hospital's success, he added. "We're predominately aiming for the middle of the market. Pricing is a big challenge."

"We don't want to price ourselves out of the market, but we do need to cover our costs."

Recruitment is the biggest task for the hospital, which is slated to open in Q2 2008. Hadley is hopeful the lure of Medi-Care's established brand name will entice staff, alongside package perks such as CME funding.

"Most of our appointments to date have been imports, to meet DHCC's regulatory standards," he said.

"For western doctors, I think the fact that Medi-Clinic is a known provider certainly helps with that."

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