Medstar to invest $100 million for day surgery centres in the UAE, Arabian Gulf
Dubai-based Medstar has become the latest healthcare company to expand in the region as confidence in the sector grows.
The company, which is backed by healthcare professionals from the UAE as well as abroad, will invest US$100 million over the next three years to open day surgery centres in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf. It opened its first day surgery centre in Dubai two months ago.
“There is a gap in the day surgery segment and it reduces costs by 25 to 30 per cent per procedure compared to that in a hospital set-up,” said Dr Sajid Burud, the managing director of Medstar Healthcare.
“With the increasing population in Dubai, hospitals and medical services will be in demand.”
Dubai’s population has grown to 2.45 million this year from 2.33 million a year ago, according to Dubai Statistics Center. The introduction of mandatory health insurance in Dubai has also created more demand.
Opened with 10 full-time physicians carrying out procedures such as cosmetic surgeries and endoscopies, the Dubai centre could have 18 doctors by the end of the month.
With two operation theatres and one for minor procedures, the Dubai Medstar facility has 13 beds.
Medstar also expects to open a facility in Sharjah before the end of the year.
Smaller clinics and pharmacies have become the latest growth drivers with hospital chains such as NMC and Al Noor Hospitals entering into a series of deals last year.
Abu Dhabi’s Al Noor Hospitals acquired Rochester Wellness, which provides rehabilitation therapy at homes and two facilities in Dubai and Muscat. Earlier in the year, NMC Health acquired ProVita International Medical Center facilities in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for $160.6m. NMC also acquired Dr Sunny Healthcare Group – a chain of six medical centres and three pharmacies in Sharjah for $64m.
The developer Meraas this week announced that it will set up its first healthcare project, Valiant Clinic at Dubai’s City Walk. It will be managed by US-based Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services.
The outpatient clinic will focus on diagnostic and wellness care such as cardiology, endocrinology, internal medicine, pulmonology and women’s health.
The Middle East and North Africa’s total healthcare spending is estimated to have been $125 billion last year, according to Al Masah Capital data, a Dubai-based alternative-investment management firm. Government spending is estimated to account for 64 per cent – or $80bn – of the total market, with private sector healthcare spending making up the rest.
The role of the private sector is expected to increase in the Mena market, according to Al Masah Capital. The investment firm forecasts that the private-sector healthcare market will be worth $61bn in 2020, more than double its size in 2011.