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Sun 31 Jan 2010 07:01 AM

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GE unit signs deal for Mideast health centres

GE Healthcare ties up with Gulf Capital to develop regional chain of clinics.

GE Healthcare, the healthcare subsidiary of General Electric Company, has signed an agreement with equity firm Gulf Capital to develop the largest regional chain of medical diagnostic and healthcare service centres. 

GE Healthcare will offer strategic support to Gulf Capital’s healthcare portfolio company investments, and the two companies will collaborate closely to roll out and grow these investments into regional platforms offering world-class services, the companies said in a joint statement.

The partnership will focus on a two-pronged approach of acquiring existing companies as well as launching greenfield operations with extended services including medical imaging, laboratory services, physiotherapy, dialysis services and oncology.

The agreement provides Gulf Capital with access to the full range of GE Healthcare’s international commercial offerings, solutions and services, the statement added.

The strategic alliance will focus on the delivery of world-class health care services in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two of the most populous countries in the MENA region, followed by an expansion at a later stage in other high growth markets.

Dr Karim El Solh, CEO of Gulf Capital said: “We are pleased to partner with GE Healthcare on the launch of such an exciting regional platform in the growing healthcare market in the MENA region.  

"GE Healthcare brings deep industry expertise and a wide range of medical technologies and services and represents an ideal partner.  Gulf Capital and GE Healthcare share the same 'healthymagination' vision of improving the quality and delivery of healthcare services across the MENA region.”

Aziz Koleilat, general manager of GE Healthcare for the Middle East region, added: “Creating a network of medical diagnostic and healthcare service centres across the region will serve as a key milestone in achieving our goal of earlier diagnosis through the use of innovative technologies, products and services.”

Advanced diagnostic services are seen to be of critical importance to the Middle East region, which has increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, heart conditions and obesity-related problems.

Earlier diagnosis helps to address these problems effectively and also help manage the rising healthcare bills, expected to grow fivefold to $60 billion by 2025.

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