Muscat: Shifa Al Jazeera group, a well established hospital chain in the Gulf region, is planning to invest RO100 million to set up 13 medical centres over the next five years in the Sultanate, with an immediate plan for two relatively large hospitals — one each in Ruwi and Al Khuwair — and a medical centre in Barka.
The Saudi-based hospital chain, which has 700 doctors and 10,000 staff spread across five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, will open its 150-bedded Ruwi hospital, 80-bedded Al Khuwair hospital and the medical centre in Oman by March, 2014, K.T. Mohammed Rabeeh Rabeeullah, chairman of the group told journalists.
"The contract for the hospital building in Ruwi has already been awarded to Alisco and the work will start within fifteen days. The work for Barka medical centre has already been started and the three medical facilities are coming up simultaneously. We are investing RO10 million for these three facilities," he added, while announcing the group's maiden healthcare projects in Oman. The Ruwi hospital, which is coming up in a nine-storied building, will have all facilities, including MRI and CT scan and specialised departments.
As part of its second phase expansion, the group has plans for hospitals in Al Khoud, Sohar and Salalah as well as medical centres in Duqm, Suwaiq, Khaboura, Buraimi, Ibri and Falaj Al Kabail. These hospitals and medical centres will be ready within five years.
"It will create employment opportunities for 2,000 people." He said the group's entry in to the country is part of a larger plan to introduce comprehensive healthcare concept across the Sultanate in phases. Oman expansion comes after the group expanded its operations in other GCC states.
"We are committed to being recognised in Oman and internationally as a leader in holistic healthcare by offering high-quality ethical, evidence-based medicine focused on customer service and hospitality. This expansion plan reflects how we are realising this goal by using forward-looking research and best-in-class systems of operation," noted Rabeeullah.
Referring to his earlier business association with Badr Al Samaa Hospital group, Rabeeullah said he sold his stake in Badr Al Samaa Hospital to other three partners and in turn acquired their holding in Bahrain-based Al Hilal Hospital on a mutual understanding. There was an understanding between the partners of Badr and Rabeeullah, which barred him from opening his own hospital in Oman for the first ten years and now this period is over.
The group vice-chairman Miandad, K.T, Mohammed Rabeeb Establishment vice-chairman T.P. Ahmed, Advisory chairman of the group Dr Khalid Khanthari, Oman general manager Mohammed Habsi and Shaikh Dawood also addressed the media.