Al Noor to open two cancer units in Abu Dhabi

Al Noor's Gulf International Cancer Center to expand existing treatment facility with two new units.

Al Noor will expand its Gulf International Cancer Centre, above, in Al Bahia off the Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway. Nicole Hill / The National
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Abu Dhabi’s Al Noor Hospitals Group expects to open two cancer care units in the emirate.

It will open a day surgery unit and another early detection unit as part of the existing Gulf International Cancer Centre (GICC) in Al Bahia off the Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway.

With a capacity of 1,400 patients a year, the centre receives 700 cases annually. More than a third of them are Emiratis.

The group expects to recruit about 50 additional doctors by the end of the year.

Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease that GICC handles, accounting for 40 per cent of the cases, followed by malignant lymphoma, brain cancer and gastrointestinal and urinary system cancer.

“Early detection results in a 70 per cent to 80 per cent cure rate in breast cancer cases, 80 per cent in prostate cancer, and 90 per cent to 100 per cent in early vocal cord cancer, while the complete recovery of patients with lung cancer and pancreatic cancer may be difficult to achieve when diagnosed at late stages,” said Dr Aly Abdel Razek, the executive director and chief of radiation oncology at GICC.

Al Noor paid US$21.8 million for GICC’s acquisition, which was completed in February. It is the only private cancer treatment centre in Abu Dhabi.

“Developing a cancer centre is challenging because of the rarity of expertise in the region, high capital expenditure required and long gestation period,” said Dr Kassem Alom, the chief executive of Al Noor Hospitals, in a financial statement released last week on the London Stock Exchange, where it is listed.

The Abu Dhabi company posted a 22 per cent increase in operating profit in the first half of the year to US$46.2 million because of an increase in outpatient volumes.

The company’s net cash decreased 1.9 per cent to $86.3m as it made acquisitions such as GICC.

The centre has outpatient and inpatient facilities. The average revenue per outpatient across the group rose 10.5 per cent to $168.

Inpatient volumes were more muted, rising by 1.1 per cent, held in check by the renovations at the Khalifa Street Hospital and competition from new hospitals in the city that opened last year, according to an analyst note from Deutsche Bank’s Marc Hammoud. The average revenue per inpatient rose 9.3 per cent to $2,431.

“We estimate top-line growth coming from the three recent acquisitions at 8 to 9 per cent,” Mr Hammoud wrote.

Last year, Al Noor acquired a chain of Al Madar Medical Centers and Manchester Clinic, a polyclinic in Jumeirah, Dubai.

Dr Alom will step down on October 1 as part of a planned succession but will continue as the non-executive deputy chairman.

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