JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Tuesday 19 February 2013
Last update 18 February 2013 9:58 pm
Saudi Arabian Airlines announced yesterday that it has started work on a 400-bed super specialty hospital in Jeddah to meet medical requirements of its 150,000-strong community including retired workers.
“The new hospital named Medical will be established on an area of 35,000 square meters and will have all specialty clinics with advanced facilities,” said Abdullah Al-Ajhar, Saudia’s vice president for public relations.
Located on the western side of Saudia City in Jeddah, the new hospital will start operation in 2017 and will be managed by a specialized international company. It will boost health services in Jeddah.
“The project is planned in line with Saudia’s privatization program, which has reached advanced stages,” Al-Ajhar said, adding that the new hospital would also provide its services to citizens and residents other than the airline’s employees.
The Saudia Medical Center will have all specializations, clinics and advanced laboratory facilities and will contribute to the Kingdom’s development, said Al-Ajhar. It will employ qualified Saudi medical cadre.
Dr. Muhammad Bafaqeeh, CEO of the Strategic Medical Service Unit at the airline, said the new hospital would provide its services to employees of various companies and strategic units under Saudia as well as other firms and individuals.
In the initial stage, the hospital will have 400 beds, which could be increased at a later stage. It will allocate 25 beds for maternity, 48 for children, 96 for surgery, 142 for internal medicine, 24 for intensive care, 24 cardiac intensive care, 10 pediatric intensive care and 15 for premature babies.
“The hospital will have 10 surgical operation rooms, 20 observation rooms, seven labor rooms and 26 beds in the emergency ward including six for children,” Faqeeh said.
Saudia has already privatized a number of strategic units including Catering, Cargo and Ground Services. The privatization of Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries has reached its final stages. It intends to make Prince Sultan Aviation Academy an international training center as part of its privatization.
“We are making intensive preparations for the privatization of the core airline unit by modernizing its fleet and developing its technical infrastructure,” said Al-Ajhar. The airline has appointed international experts and consulting firms to assist in speeding up the privatization process.