Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has received bids from project management firms for two contracts to manage the construction of 12 new healthcare projects planned across the kingdom.

The ministry received bids for the project management contract for two medical cities on 12 March. The estimated SR4bn ($1.1bn) King Faisal Medical City, planned for the southern region, will have a 1,350-bed capacity and the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Medical City, planned for the northern region, will have a 1,000 beds. In addition to the hospitals, the medical cities will incorporate housing and other facilities for medical staff.

On 13 March, the Health Ministry received bids for the contract to provide management services on 10 new hospital projects, which will be located at various locations throughout the kingdom.

The medical projects are part of the kingdom’s efforts to improve its provision of healthcare services for its rapidly growing population, which is expected to rise from the current 26.1 million to 29 million by 2015. In the current budget, the government has set aside $23bn to be spent on health and social affairs for 2012, a 20 per cent increase over the 2011 allocation.

The US-based Vanir Construction Management was recently appointed as the project manager for the estimated $1.2bn King Khaled Medical City planned to be built in Dammam, located in the eastern province.