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Sat 9 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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City’s slicker service set for DHCC

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

The hospital hopes to appeal - 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 includes an in-room patient entertainment system.

Primarily, we want to be a good healthcare facility, but the hospitality side is required now," said Hadley. "People can judge you more on your food than your healthcare sometimes.

Careful pricing structures are also a crucial factor in the hospital's success, he added.

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

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

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