By Andy Sambidge
Company behind International Medical City in Salalah says second phase ready for 2020
A $1bn International Medical City (IMC) planned for Salalah in Oman will open its first phase in 2016, a top official has revealed.
Dr Mohammed Al Sofayan, CEO of Apex Medical Group, the company behind the project, said phase two of the medical city is slated to start operating four years later.
He said the project aims to become "the landmark integrated healthcare development project in the MENA region".
It is currently in the preliminary infrastructure construction stage, Al Sofayan said in a statement.
Citing the government's Health Vision 2050, Al Sofayan said: "The plan is an excellent road map for the country, much of which is influenced by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
"Oman's health sector is one of the most well-planned and well-thought out one in the GCC region, with a good infrastructure in place, government support, expansion plans, and improved tertiary care facilities."
He added: "IMC is part of the health plan of the government, and we have chosen Salalah to build this project because of its exceptional environment factor and its booming tourism market."
Envisaged as a 540-bed tertiary care multispecialty hospital, the $1bn International Medical City will also include a transplant and dialysis centre of excellence, a rehabilitation centre, and a diagnostic centre of excellence.
Other facilities include a trauma and emergency unit, ambulance services, intensive care unit, blood bank, pharmacy, and organ transplant donor registry, as well as a four-star hotel.
The project also includes a social program designed to offer free services to the needy.
Oman built its last major hospital 20 years ago and a growing population is stretching the Gulf Arab state's healthcare.
The population is expanding at four 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.
Al Sofayan said that IMC will help build the capabilities and skills of medical professionals and will provide employment opportunities to Omanis, complemented with opportunities for international staff.For all the latest health tips & news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Without Sheikh Mohamed Al Makhtoum things like this would never happen in the gulf. He has no idea the impact he has made. Now most rulers understand all you have to do is take care of the infrastructure and the foreign investments will follow. Smart dude.