Kuwait’s Health Ministry is in discussion to add two further hospitals to its programme to renovate and build new facilities at eight hospitals across Kuwait.

In October, the ministry awarded a KD1.8m ($6.2m) contract to the US/local team of Hill International and System Development & Project Management (SDPM) to provide project and construction management services for the programme to renovate and upgrade eight existing hospitals over a three-year period.

The project management joint-venture is currently in discussions with the ministry to provide project and construction management services for the expansion of two further hospitals.

“There will be a ninth hospital. It is currently under discussion. There will be an announcement when the discussions have been completed between Hill International and the Health Ministry. There is even the possibility of a tenth hospital being added,” said Dexter Bart, consultant for healthcare design Middle East, Hill International, speaking at MEED’s Middle East Healthcare Projects 2010 conference on 13 December.

The Health Ministry has prequalified contractors for the main construction package on the estimated $513m renovation programme for the eight hospitals and expects to tender the project in early 2011.

“The ministry prequalified about 10 companies for the main construction package three weeks ago. We expect tender documents to be released in the next month,” a source close to the project told MEED last week.

The Health Ministry’s hospital expansion programme is part of Kuwait’s plans to complete $8bn of hospital construction projects by 2016 as it tries to meet the healthcare demands of its growing population.

In addition to the Health Ministry’s programme, the country’s Public Works Ministry has approved plans to build eight new hospitals by 2016. The new hospitals will add 5,000 beds to the current capacity of the state’s hospitals (MEED 10:12:10).