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Abu Dhabi Healthcare Firms To Expand
(26 September 2015)


Abu Dhabi's healthcare companies are aggressively expanding their networks by acquiring assets within the emirate and elsewhere.

"During the current year, we acquired four assets totalling around $421 million," Dr B.R. Shetty managing director of NMC Healthcare Plc, said.

Currently, the managing director said he is looking into various opportunities across various geographies.

Abu Dhabi's healthcare scene has transformed in recent years, with the two local hospitals NMC Healthcare and Al Noor Hospital issuing IPOs on London Stock Exchange and creating new hospital infrastructure and acquiring specialty medical centres.

With the upgrade in medical facilities and arrival of the most modern facility launched by Mubadala Development Company, Cleave Land Clinic Abu Dhabi is attracting medical tourism from the Gulf in large numbers.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a recent note said the continued roll-out of mandatory private health insurance is likely to be a key driver of private sector healthcare hospitals in the GCC.

Abu Dhabi has 100 per cent of the population covered by mandatory health insurance, it said.

The two big healthcare providers Al Noor Hospital Group and NMC Healthcare have been benefiting from the mandatory health insurance. Both companies have been acquiring local and regional hospitals and clinics to expand their service network. NMC acquired a leading name in long term medical care provider Pro Vita International Medical Centre for $161 million; in April, NMC Healthcare spent $33 million to acquire Abu Dhabi's Americare Group, which provides in-home healthcare services.

In Sharjah, the healthcare provider took-over, Dr. Sunny Healthcare Group, a well-established network of six medical centres treating around 1,300 patients daily. NMC invested $33 million on the acquisitions which also has three pharmacies.

The biggest buyout NMC concluded this year was one of the leading global providers of fertility treatments, Clinica Eugin for $163 million.

This week, another London listed Abu Dhabi's Al Noor Hospitals Group Plc reached an agreement to acquire Rochester Wellness, a specialty facility for long-term physical, speech, and occupational rehabilitation therapy caring. The healthcare provider has two inpatient facilities in Dubai and Muscat. The company provides post-acute care including rehabilitation, home care, and long term care. Commenting on the buy-out, Al Noor Hospital Group's chief executive officer Ronald Lavater said the hospital group is investing in its network of hospitals and medical centres, as additional inpatient beds and operating theater capacity in Al Ain Hospital is being added as well as two new outpatient medical centres in Sharjah and Al Ain.

The group acquired Al Madar Medical Centre network in 2013 to expand its outreach.

Recently, the group said that it has received shareholder approval to commit to leases allowing the expansion of operations at Al Ain Hospital, Khalifa Street Hospital and Airport Road Hospital.

Apart from buyouts, NMC is preparing to launch of operations at its 250 bed NMC Royal Hospital in Abu Dhabi City, offering outpatient services while inpatient services are expected to commence before the year-end.

NMC is expected to have a licensed bed capacity of 855 which is 82 per cent higher year-on-year by the end of 2015.

The healthcare company reported 25.3 per cent year-on-year growth in revenues in January-June 2015 period to $393.8 million. -

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