Construction work on an integrated, multi-specialty tertiary care project gets under way next month with a groundbreaking ceremony planned at the Salalah site of the ambitious scheme.
The $1 billion venture, dubbed the 'International Medical City', promises to enhance Salalah's multifaceted appeal as a holiday getaway. When operational by mid 2015, it will position the Sultanate as a niche destination for medical tourism centering largely on the provision of high-end transplantation, rehabilitation and related tertiary care services.
"The project is ready to be established," said Dr. Mohammed Sofayan, Chief Executive Officer, Apex Medical Group (AMG), which is overseeing the development of the International Medical City. "All of the requisite feasibility studies have been wrapped up, government and international formalities completed. We are now ready to establish as part of Phase 1 a transplant center, diagnostic center, and tertiary care hospital along with all necessary ancillary facilities,” he added.
Saudi-based AMG, which is a unit of Saudi Al Joaib Holding, plans to break ground on the project on or around December 2. The city will be established on an 800,000 sq meter site allocated by the Ministry of Tourism close to the waterfront along Salalah's Arabian Sea coast. The Ministry of Health is also backing the venture, given its unique and highly specialized focus on transplantation and rehabilitation tertiary care services.
The centerpiece of the project is a state-of-the-art organ transplant center of excellence operating alongside cutting edge diagnostic facilities and a 530-bed multispecialty tertiary care hospital. Also envisaged in later phases of the development are a healthcare resort, wellness center, nursing college, and purpose built research and development facility.
Importantly, the International Medical City will also house a full-fledged nursing college that will provide advanced nursing programs for both government-funded and private nursing students. The institution to cater the nurse training needs of the entire GCC.
Furthermore, bearing in mind the fact that transplant patients are typically long-staying inpatients, the promoters plan to develop lodging facilities and serviced apartments for the benefit of relatives and family members.
The IMC will be developed in a total of three phases. Phase one, involving an investment of $320 million, is due to be brought into operation by the middle of 2015. Phase 1 will have all of the health components, some serviced apartments, and some staff lodgings. We will make that each phase will stand alone in terms of its service offerings and support services.
Oman Daily Observer