US-based Hill International has been selected to provide project management services for the construction of two medical cities planned in Saudi Arabia.

Hill has been selected by the kingdom’s Health Ministry to provide project management services for the two planned medical cities, one planned for the northern region of the kingdom with the other planned for the southern region. The southern project, the estimated SR4bn ($1.1bn) King Faisal Medical City, will have a 1,350-bed capacity, while northern scheme the Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Medical City, will have 1,000 beds. In addition to the hospitals, the medical cities will incorporate housing and other facilities for medical staff.

In March, the US firm submitted a lower price than the US-based Vanir Construction Management, the only other bidder, for the project management deal. The client for the medical cities is the kingdom’s Health Ministry.

Hill International is also frontrunner to win a second contract from the Health Ministry, for the project management services on 10 new hospital projects. The 10 planned hospitals will be constructed at various locations throughout the kingdom. The US firm had also submitted the low bid for the contract in March.

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 26.1 million today to 29 million by 2015. In the current budget, the government has earmarked $23bn for health and social affairs for 2012, a 20 per cent increase over the 2011 allocation.

In January, Vanir Construction Management was appointed to provide project management services for the estimated $1.2bn King Khaled Medical City , which is planned to be built in Dammam, in the Eastern Province.