Four companies priced the estimated SR 1,500 million ($400 million) contract in late 2005. The other bidders were Saudi Oger, Al-Khodary & Sons Company and Al-Mansoury Contracting. Al-Mansoury Contracting is understood to be in pole position for the award of the second package, which will entail the construction of 193 clinics.

More clinic work is planned by the Health Ministry. Bids are due to be submitted by early February for an estimated SR 1,500 million ($400 million) contract to build 440 clinics. Saudi Oger is already carrying out work under an estimated SR 600 million ($160 million) contract placed in mid-2005 for the construction of 150 medical centres across the kingdom.

The Health Ministry is also planning to build 14 new general and specialist hospitals in 2006/07, offering a total of 1,880 beds. They include: 300-bed hospitals in Riyadh and Mecca; 200-bed hospitals in Najran, Abha and Hafr al-Batin; and a 100-bed general hospital in Al-Qunfudah.