Aligning Dubai's Healthcare Sector With the Vision 2021 Goals

Alasdair Leven
A closer look at King's College Hospital Dubai

The UAE is seeking a more comprehensive offering of clinical specialties for its growing population. The country has also become a fast-growing medical tourism hub.

The UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda includes plans for a world-class healthcare system in each emirate. The Dubai Healthcare Strategy 2016-21 was created to align Dubai’s healthcare sector with the Vision 2021 goals, achieving these key targets by 2021:

  • Reduce the number of cardiovascular deaths from 297.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2012 to 158.2 deaths per 100,000 population by 2021
  • Lower the prevalence of diabetes from 19.02% in 2014 to 16.28% by 2021
  • Lower the prevalence of obesity among children from 13.17% in 2014 to 12% by 2021
  • Increase the average healthy life expectancy from 67 years in 2013 to 73 years by 2021.

Two main focus points have emerged from the strategy:

  • To improve primary and urgent care by optimising hospital services in order to deal with medical emergencies more efficiently.
  • To combat lifestyle diseases through ongoing initiatives to educate the public on prevention and lifestyle medicines

Medical insurance is now mandatory in Dubai, for nationals, expatriates and visitors, with the costs falling mainly on employers. Alongside these domestic objectives, the UAE has become a viable medical tourism destination, with its globally strategic location served by two international airports and an expanding range of healthcare facilities.

International collaboration is part of the plan to offer the best care, and the forthcoming private 100-bed King’s College Hospital (KCH) Dubai will be a welcome addition to the local provision. The new hospital is a partnership between KCH Management Ltd (the commercial consultancy, marketing and business development company of London’s King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust), the Ashmore Group and Al Tayer Group. It will be located at Dubai Hills, within Mohammed bin Rashid City.

Building on 175 years of experience in delivering high quality care and world-leading clinical outcomes, KCH Dubai is intended to be a centre of excellence for paediatrics, orthopaedics, endocrinology, obstetrics and gynaecology. A significant proportion of the clinical staff, including all heads of departments, and over 30 per cent of physicians will be coming from KCH London.

This continues the successful export of the KCH brand to the Middle East – the King’s College Hospital Clinic in Abu Dhabi opened in 2014, followed by a clinic in Jumeirah, Dubai, earlier this year, and a further clinic in the Dubai Marina area is scheduled to open in 2018.

Faithful+Gould is appointed as project managers, cost managers and contract administrators. The KCH team was unfamiliar with the Middle East construction market and process, so part of our role has been to familiarise them with local delivery. Early challenges for our client included identifying the right site (one that offers maximum exposure to the brand and provides a suitable catchment area) and appointing a design & build contractor.

Although a traditional construction contract was originally planned, we suggested a switch to design & build, to allow earlier contractor appointment and earlier construction works start, based on schematic design. There is a shortage of contractors with hospital experience in the region, and the change to design & build ruled out some contenders, but we nonetheless secured sufficient interest to run a competitive tendering process.

Our cost management services provide our client with budget recommendations, reporting on all construction costs, and reviewing and making recommendations on any contract variations. We also provide insight into the volatile market rates of construction materials.

Our value engineering exercises have achieved a careful balance of design quality and cost viability. Value engineering during contractor selection and again once the contract was awarded has successfully reduced project costs by five per cent.

Faithful+Gould has five decades of health sector experience, spanning all aspects of capital development, facilities management, strategic investment planning and environmental support.

Open stakeholder communication, which we will be promoting throughout the supply chain, is very important on this project, due to the aggressive nature of the build programme. This will allow the approval process to be streamlined, avoiding procurement delays. We are also taking a lead on the statutory approvals processes, ensuring that local government and services/utilities communications are smoothly handled. A second phase of works is planned for 2019/2020, to add a further 80 beds, plus diagnostic centres.

Faithful+Gould has five decades of health sector experience, spanning all aspects of capital development, facilities management, strategic investment planning and environmental support. In the Middle East, in addition to KCH, we are providing project management on Aldara Ambulatory Centre and Multi-Specialty Facility in Riyadh; a 54,000m2 ambulatory care building and 100-bed multi-specialty facility, and in Qatar we are the design and construction supervision consultant for the National Health Laboratories (NHL).

In the UK we recently completed cost management services on the Arthur Rank Hospice, a double winner at this year’s RICS awards, and our Americas team recently completed initial outfitting and transition (IO&T) and project management office services on the $30m Camp Zama Health and Dental Clinic renovation project in Japan.

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