The promoters of the $1 billion International Medical City project in Salalah plan to bring the prestigious healthcare infrastructure and medical tourism venture into operation in 2016, according to a high-level executive of the flagship development. Dr Naeema Aziz, Project Director, said the integrated development, which will house the region's first purpose-built transplantation and rehabilitation center, as well as Oman's first advanced tertiary care hospital and diagnostics center, promises to transform the country's healthcare landscape.
"The International Medical City will open a new chapter in Oman's healthcare development," said Dr Aziz. "It will establish the Sultanate as a regional hub for transplant based medical tourism, encompassing kidney, liver and pancreas transplantation and rehabilitation services. Besides easing the government's burden in providing tertiary healthcare services, this prestigious venture will also contribute to economic development in Salalah, and create employment for Omanis," she added.
Development of the unique project is expected to begin in earnest this year on an 870,000 sq meter waterfront stretch overlooking the Arabian Sea. The plot has been allocated by the Ministry of Tourism, underscoring strong governmental backing for the scheme. The Ministry of Health is also supporting the development as a strategic partner, she said.
The International Medical City project is being spearheaded by the Dammam (Saudi Arabia) based Apex Medical Group, which is a wholly subsidiary of Al Joaib Investment Group, a major Saudi firms with interests primarily focused on the oilfield contracting services. Apex Medical is currently weighing partnership offers from Omani, as well as GCC investors, said Dr Aziz.
Given the size and ambitious nature of the venture, the International Medical City will be implemented in three phases, according to the project director. The first phase will center on the construction of a 530-bed multispecialty tertiary care hospital supported by three proposed centers of excellence in transplantation services, rehabilitative care, and diagnostic services.
Oman Daily Observer