Medical cities: the next step for local healthcare industry
An increase in public-private partnerships (PPP) over the coming years will redefine the regional healthcare industry, says Sultan Batterjee CEO of IHCC.
Speaking to AMEinfo, Batterjee argues that, given the underdevelopment of social infrastructure across the GCC, governments and investors have the opportunity to initiate healthcare projects that can incorporate a wider range of services.
The International Hospital Construction Company (IHCC), the region’s leading healthcare design and build company, specialises in hospitals, education facilities and wellness centres. Nonetheless, Batterjee believes that, due to the spillover effect, the next step would be moving towards medical cities that can become widespread across the region.
He explains: “You start with hospitals that quickly develop into all-round healthcare [institutions]. This includes medical towers, speciality centres etc. Then we move from healthcare to education, because they are linked. Education empowers healthcare and vice versa. This then leads us to wellness, because when patients come, they want the whole experience, which includes developing residential and medical tourism needs. Before you know it, we are looking at a fully functioning, independent medical city.”
Concerning infrastructure in general, as AMEinfo reported last month, projects across the GCC have boomed throughout 2014, with countries such as the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain more than doubling their commitment to developing road, rail and social infrastructure networks.
Batterjee believes that social media will be a key driver in expanding infrastructure needs globally, as insights into how people are living is just a click away. “Living in a truly globalised world, young people are now pressuring their governments into meeting their everyday transport, healthcare and education expectations, which have sharply risen as a result of social networking,” he concludes.