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Wed 29 Feb 2012 03:52 PM

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Saudi launches $533m of healthcare projects

Oil-rich Gulf state has ramped up its investment in healthcare following Arab Spring

Saudi launches $533m of healthcare projects
Saudi has opened 16 new medical centres

Saudi Arabia’s health minister has launched SAR2bn ($533.3m) worth of healthcare projects, including 16 medical centres and five medical warehouses, in the northwest province of Hail.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah approved a new 200-bed maternity and children's hospital at a cost of SAR400m, a 300-bed hospital in southwest Hail plus another 15 primary health care centres, Arab News reported.

Saudi Arabia, along with some other Gulf countries, mostly side-stepped the Arab Spring protests, but has since made several moves to ramp up its investment in sectors such as healthcare and housing.

The OPEC-member state in January allocated SAR16bn for investment in the healthcare sector and has signed 35 contracts worth more than SAR4.4bn. The Gulf state’s ministry of health has signed SAR3bn worth of contracts with 30 private sector companies for health projects, including the construction of new hospitals, since the start of the year.

Hail’s governor Prince Saud bin Abdulmuhsin on Sunday officially opened a number of healthcare facilities including a cardiology centre and laid the foundations for a 300-bed Hail General Hospital and a new 40-bed kidney centre.

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