NMC Healthcare, the UAE’s largest private sector healthcare provider, and the first Abu Dhabi company listed on the London Stock Exchange under the name NMC Health plc, held a ground breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of its new specialty hospital in the Khalifa City district of Abu Dhabi on 12 December 2012.
The ceremony was attended by His Excellency Nasser Khalifa Al Budoor, Assistant Undersecretary for International Relations and Health Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Health; Dr Ali Obaid Al Ali, Director of Health Regulation Division at Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD); Dr Adeeb Salem Al Zaabi, Manager, Health Facilities Licensing Department, HAAD; and Mr Walid Sidani, CEO of Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC).
When completed, NMC Specialty Hospital, Khalifa City will accommodate 250 beds, and will eventually feature 23 specialties. The first phase is due to be opened by the end of 2014 and will begin with an umbrella of specialised medical care encompassing emergency services, intensive care, paediatrics, cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and urology. Subsequent phased additions will mark the start-up of an extensive range of specialties including neurology, psychiatry, gastroenterology, nephrology and oncology.
The new hospital will specifically cater to the growing population of Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa City, Al Raha, Mussafah, Mohammed bin Zayed City, Masdar City, Abu Dhabi International Airport, Shahama and Yas Island. According to the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, some of these suburbs are expected to house around one-fifth of the total population of the emirate by 2030.
The Khalifa City hospital will be NMC’s fourth and largest integrated specialty hospital facility in the UAE, alongside its existing specialty hospitals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. NMC also operates day surgery centres, outpatient clinics and pharmacies across the country, and earlier this week it commenced trial operations at the new Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital in Umm Al Qawain, which was funded by the President’s Initiatives Follow-up Committee at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, Dr B R Shetty said, “I wish to thank the Municipality of Abu Dhabi and the HAAD for the help and co-operation they have offered us in getting this important project off the ground. As the UAE’s oldest private healthcare provider, with the widest network of facilities in the country, NMC Healthcare is helping to build a high quality and affordable private healthcare sector for the UAE.”
His Excellency Eng. Zaid Daoud Al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer of HAAD said, “We are happy about the ground breaking of NMC’s new hospital project at Khalifa City-A. This initiative to construct a hospital with 250 beds in Khalifa City-A will be an important addition to the healthcare system of Abu Dhabi and serve the medical needs of the growing population in this region.”
Built on an area of 54,200 sqm allotted to NMC by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, the new Khalifa City hospital will comprise basement and ground floors, as well as three further stories with a total built up area of some 75,000 sqm. The investment outlay for the project is estimated at $200 million until the year 2016. The construction contract was recently awarded to Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Construction who will serve as engineers and consultants on the project.
Dr Shetty added, “We are committed to contributing to Abu Dhabi’s economy and the quality of life for its residents through state-of-the-art medical facilities and the availability of highly trained professional staff. Our new hospital in the Khalifa City area of the capital will provide quality care, additional choice and convenience to residents and help to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services here in the UAE.”
Spending on the healthcare sector in the UAE has tripled in the last five years, and public expenditure on this sector has amounted to 2.5% of GDP. With only 12% of the GCC’s population, the UAE accounts for 20% of its expenditure on healthcare services, or $1,520 per capita compared to an average of $895 per capita.
Recent reports show that the UAE has invested $2.9 billion in healthcare sector projects, contributing by 6% to non-oil GDP, and that the healthcare sector is estimated to grow from $3.2 billion this year to $11.9 billion by 2015. Approximately one third of the UAE’s hospitals are operated by private sector companies.