The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has initiated plans to build a 300-bed maternity hospital, estimated to cost around SAR 406.9 million (USD 109 million), in the city of Qatif, located in the country's Eastern Province, an official source confirmed to Zawya.
The ministry has commissioned Saudi-based contracting company Abdullah A.M. Al-Khodari Sons Co. to carry out the project, which is expected to be completed in two phases over the course of four years. The first phase will cost SAR 245.4 million while construction of the second phase will be around SAR 161.5 million.
The source also mentioned that the Qatif hospital, which will be built on a 300,000-square-meter area, is currently in the planning stage so as to ensure that its designs and specifications are in line with the characteristics of the land.
The upgrading of healthcare services has been one of the priorities of Saudi Arabia, where plans are currently underway to build around 102 new hospitals in different parts of the kingdom. These hospitals are expected to add a total of 23,000 beds to the country's existing capacity, in addition to five medical cities that will add another 6,200 beds.
The Saudi government has set aside SAR 100 billion from its 2013 budget for health-related services and social development projects. The budget will finance the building of primary health care centers in all the regions of the kingdom, as well as 19 new hospitals and health centers. This will also cover costs for the furnishing and upgrading of several healthcare facilities, medical staff housing and renovation of existing hospitals.