UAE healthcare firm aims to quadruple its bed numbers to 5000 by 2019

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The head of UAE healthcare giant LLH Healthcare Group has revealed plans to more than quadruple bed numbers from 1,200 to 5000 in five years, led by an expansion in India and new Middle Eastern markets.

 

Shamsheer Vayalil Parambath, who founded the group in 2007, also said he planned to turn the pharmaceutical arm of the group into a $1bn business over the same timeframe as he eyed Europe and the US.

"That has been our model from the beginning – of faster growth," the 37-year-old trained radiologist said in an interview published Sunday in Arabian Business magazine.

"We lead one or two Greenfield projects, (but) most of our hospitals are conversions of existing buildings (and) because they were already built that gives us a head start," he said.

As well as LLH Hospital Electra, which is the largest private tertiary hospital in the region, LLH Group also operates the LLH Hospital Mussafah and Life Care Hospital Al Raha in Abu Dhabi, Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi, India; LLH Hospitals in both Sohar and Salalah in Oman and the Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery in Dubai and the Kids Park Dental Centre in Abu Dhabi. It has also opened a Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2012, which has been branded the first seven-star hospital in the Gulf region.

In addition, it is building a new 400-bed hospital in Kerala that is in the design phase and a new oncology facility to be opened within Mohammed Bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi in the next two and a half years, with plans for both a Lifeline Hospital and Burjeel Medical Centre in Muscat, an LLH hospital in Dubai and a Lifecare Hospital in Mussafah.

Shamsheer said in the next six to 12 months it also planned to establish a management office in Saudi, while it was also in talks in Qatar. He said expanding from hospitals into the pharmaceutical area in 2010 was a logical step. The company had acquired two patents for the Middle East and North Africa, including one from South Korea, which will further aid its overseas ambitions.

"The FDA [Food and Drug Administration]'s approach towards quality has become much more stringent and a lot of Indian companies have started facing problems with the quality issues," he said. "For us, it is the right positioning in terms of quality — Dubai has always been the leader in quality and that would help us getting an entry into these markets if you can provide the right quality at the right price."

Shamsheer said capturing the European and US markets — it is in the midst of stringent regulatory approvals elsewhere, with audits completed in most African markets and GCC audits taking place — would position the company to supply goods anywhere in the world.

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