Canada is to help build a AED 1 billion (US$ 274m) hospital in Sharjah, specialising in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology as part of a far-reaching Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) and the Government of Sharjah this week. A key part of the MoU, is an agreement to set out a range of action plans and strategies for healthcare-related investment projects in order to provide the highest level of care for mothers and children. The hospital project will also include a research centre dedicated to childhood illnesses.
The five-year renewable agreement, strengthens cooperation between Canada and Sharjah to advance the emirate’s medical services, in line with Sharjah’s vision to develop and maintain world-class levels of healthcare. The MoU comes amid efforts by Sharjah and Canada to open up channels of investment in medical projects, exchange expertise and further advance the quality of healthcare in compliance with international standards.
The MoU aims to promote the importance of mutually beneficial partnerships between the Canadian Government and the emirate’s health sector in terms of project management and project finance, as well as specific knowledge-sharing between medical specialists, consultants, technicians and doctors and nurses.
The health care sector has been a focus for economic development by the Government of Sharjah taking steps to help position the emirate as a centre for medical education, research and development, whilst developing the emirate as a destination for medical tourism. The recent introduction of new health insurance regulations has also helped accelerate private sector growth, which has already led to investment in several new hospitals.
Meanwhile, the master plan for the 2.4 million square metre Sharjah Healthcare City on Al Dhaid road was approved by the Ruler of Sharjah in January of this year. Planned to be one of the largest healthcare centres in the Middle East, the first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2020, at a cost of AED 600 million (US$164m). Objectives for the healthcare city include both providing essential services for Sharjah and the northern emirates and providing globally competitive, advanced healthcare services.
Operating as a tax-free zone under the Sharjah Health Authority (SHA), Sharjah Healthcare City will offer state-of-the-art facilities for healthcare providers, allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership. The Authority expects investment opportunities to appeal to small, medium or large hospitals, poly clinics, laboratories, rehabilitation centres, wellness centres, residential units, health clubs, consultancy offices, plus storage and production units of healthcare equipment and accessories.