Saad branches out

26 April 2002

Following the completion of the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al-Khobar, the local Saad Group is preparing to launch a number of satellite medical centres in the region. The group expects to receive Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation for the Al-Khobar hospital in August, and is awaiting planning approval to build a private clinic in the Qatif region, with a view to catering for employees of Saudi Aramcoliving in the area. The group is also understood to be negotiating the purchase of an existing hospital in Hofuf, and is considering building a third facility in Jeddah. In difficult medical cases, the three facilities will act as referral hospitals for the Saad Specialist Hospital, which provides tertiary-level care including open-heart surgery and neurosurgery.

Cummins Power Generation of the UK signed an agreement in late April to deliver three 1-MW standby power-generating sets for the Saad Specialist Hospital, completing the third and final phase of construction of one of the most advanced private medical facilities in the region. The diesel-powered generating units will provide back-up supply in the event of mains power failure.

Built by Saad Trading & Contracting Company, the construction arm of the Saad Group, the 523-bed hospital was completed in February, although facilities within the hospital complex have been in operation since 2000. The two-block general hospital is located inside a compound which also contains a tertiary care medical centre, a high-rise clinic, the Saad National School and a conference centre containing a 1,000-seat auditorium and 30 conference rooms. The hospital campus also provides housing for nursing staff and other personnel, and recreation facilities including swimming pools, a gymnasium and tennis courts.

Future plans for the complex include the construction of a hotel close to the site to house relatives of patients from outside Al-Khobar. The Saad National School will be converted into a nursing college for the hospital and will be replaced by two schools currently being built by Saad in the city. A girls' school is scheduled to open in September this year, and construction of a school for boys is expected to be complete in September 2003. Both schools will provide for 3,000 students each.

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