Dh1 billion hospital and medical college for Dubai

The 300-bed University Hospital in Dubai Silicon Oasis will create at least 4,000 jobs and have the capacity to treat 700,000 patients a year. It is due to open in 2017.

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DUBAI // A new teaching hospital and associated medical college are to be built in Dubai at a cost of Dh1 billion.

The ambitious project is targeted at the growing medical tourism business, and will also address the serious shortage of medical graduates, an issue identified in a consultancy study only this week.

The 300-bed University Hospital in Dubai Silicon Oasis will create at least 4,000 jobs, will have the capacity to treat 700,000 patients a year and will open in 2017.

The associated Fakeeh Medical University will open two years later.

“The initiative is a step forward in the implementation of the strategy of the executive office to make Dubai a hub for medical tourism,” said Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority.

"Recent statistics show that the number of medical tourists receiving treatment is estimated to increase by 15 per cent each year.

"Additionally, healthcare spending in the UAE is expected to reach Dh40 billion by 2015, while medical tourists are set to cross the 20 million mark for the same period."

The hospital will be built in the Dubai Silicon Oasis technology park and aims to cater for about 40,000 admissions and 20,000 operations a year.

The associated Fakeeh Medical University will have centres of excellence in mother and child health, cardiology and spine surgery, plastic and cosmetic laser surgery and obesity management.

"This new project, as will any new project, will boost medical tourism," said Dr Khaliq Raza Khan of Ismail Medical Centre in Dubai.

“People want to come to the Gulf and to Dubai for health care.

“Not only that but bringing more competitiveness in the market will improve the service for all residents in the emirate.”

He also welcomed the announcement of a new medical university in the wake of a report this week by the management consultants McKinsey & Company which found that the Arabian Gulf states are producing too few medical graduates to meet soaring demand for health care.

It predicts that overall demand for health care in the GCC will increase by 240 per cent in the next 20 years but up to 80 per cent of medical staff in some hospitals and clinics are from outside the region and have been trained in more than 50 different countries.

“It is better to train home-grown talent than to employ from overseas – of course it is,” said Dr Khan. “We have to invest in the education of our own; that is very important.”

The privately run facility will operate in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai Silicon Oasis, the American University of Sharjah and Al Ain University.

The hospital and medical university project will be developed by Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

“We are confident that their vision to create a premier medical academic institution perfectly matches and balances our efforts to provide a better quality of life to DSO’s residents through the application of best practices in the field,” said Dr Al Zarooni.

Dr Mazen Fakeeh, the president of Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, said: “By extending our reach to Dubai … we hope to provide our quality health care to a wider cross-section of GCC residents.

“As one of the few teaching hospitals in the UAE, we hope to train and enhance the supply of healthcare professionals.”