Mediclinic upbeat despite changes in UAE healthcare insurance environment

In June, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi said that it has reduced the insurance coverage for Emiratis under the Thiqa plan, and expatriates and their families under Daman Insurance’s Abu Dhabi Basic Plan.
Above, Mediclinic City hospital at Dubai Healthcare City. Mediclinic’s facilities in the UAE are expected to generate low to mid single-digit revenue growth during the full 2016-17 financial year. Jaime Puebla / The National
Above, Mediclinic City hospital at Dubai Healthcare City. Mediclinic’s facilities in the UAE are expected to generate low to mid single-digit revenue growth during the full 2016-17 financial year. Jaime Puebla / The National

South Africa’s hospital group Mediclinic is confident of its prospects in the UAE despite regulatory changes to healthcare insurance that make it more expensive for some patients to seek treatment.

Mediclinic’s facilities in the UAE are expected to generate low to mid single-digit revenue growth during the full 2016-17 financial year, the London-listed company said on Tuesday.

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi has reduced the insurance coverage for Emiratis under the Thiqa plan and for expatriates and their families under Daman Insurance’s Abu Dhabi Basic Plan.

Mediclinic acquired Abu Dhabi’s healthcare provider Al Noor Hospitals Group in February. In Dubai, the north wing of Mediclinic City Hospital opened this month with 80 beds and the “initial patient numbers are encouraging”, Danie Meintjes, the chief executive of Mediclinic International, said in a filing to the London Stock Exchange.

“In Abu Dhabi, we are making good progress with the integration of Al Noor business and remain confident in the prospects for the region,” he said. “Despite the industry trends of growing competition and regulatory initiatives, Mediclinic is well posi­tioned to maintain consistent growth.”

Mediclinic’s Middle East division reported revenue of Dh1.31 billion during the first five months of the financial year to August 31. It operates two hospitals in Dubai and 10 clinics in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

The underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) margins for the first half of 2016-17 financial year are expected to be about 11 per cent.

“[This is] largely due to business and operational alignment, the introduction of a 20 per cent co-payment for Thiqa members using private healthcare facilities from July 1 and the delayed ramp-up of new units, including Al Jowhara Hospital in Abu Dhabi,” the company said in the statement.

It is building a 40-bed Al Jowhara Hospital in Al Ain beside the 188-bed Mediclinic Parkview Hospital on Umm Suqeim Road in Dubai and also constructing a 100-bed Al Noor Hospital on Airport Road in Abu Dhabi.

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Published: September 27, 2016 04:00 AM

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