By Claire Valdini
US$7.9bn Sidra Medical and Research Center set to complete by Q3-4, says CEO
Doha-based Sidra Medical and Research Center will look to hire over 4,500 medical staff over the next two years as the state-of-the-art medical facility gears up to open next year, its CEO told Arabian Business.
Sidra, which will focus on obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics, will give preferential treatment to medical professionals from the Arab world in a bid to help build the region’s supply of skilled graduates, said Dr William Owen.
“We’re entering an aggressive ramp up in terms of our staff so I guess you can call it that we are in a hiring phase.
“The organisation right now is roughly 250 team members. At the time of the opening I anticipate that we’ll have about 3,000 team members and that does not reflect the total number of team members, which is probably going to be almost 5,000,” he said.
Regional governments are ramping up their investment in healthcare amid growing populations and rapidly rising rates of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. The six Gulf states are amongst the top ten countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world, according to the International Diabetes Foundation.
Demand for hospital beds is expected to reach 93,992 by 2015, an addition of 8,669 beds from 2010, according to Alpen Capital.
A shortage of medical personnel is a growing concern for regional governments with many spending millions of dollars on healthcare imports due to lack of sufficient services. Sidra will give priority to medical staff from the Arab world, said Owen.
“I think a really important aspect of our mission as leaders of this organisation is to train the next generation of healthcare providers and people who are from this region have a predilection to dedication and compassion and care for this region [because] its home.
“Recognising that we’re creating a sustainable organisation and developing the next generation of special healthcare providers I think it would be silly not to openly state that have a predilection for people who are from the region,” he said.
Sidra, which has been set up with a US$7.9bn endowment from the Qatar Foundation, will complete the initial construction of the 400-bed facility in the third of fourth quarter of this year. The medical facility, which will offer clinical care, medical education and biomedical research, also has options to expand to 550-beds in a second phase.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.