The opening of Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Hospital in 2017 will give Kuwait’s Ministry of Health (MoH) a new flagship medical centre that is reportedly the largest health facility in the Middle East and the sixth-largest in the world. It also sets a new benchmark for the provision of health care in Kuwait, as existing hospitals expand and new developments are built to improve the standard of medical help available to Kuwait’s citizens and residents. The 1200-bed Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Hospital in South Surra, which will be served by 50 ambulances and an air ambulance service, was built for the Ministry of Public Works by the Egyptian firm Arab Contractors for KD304m ($1bn). The hospital campus includes a 12-storey main building, plus an additional dentistry building, residences for medical staff and ancillary buildings on a 225,000-sq-metre site with parking provisions for 7000 cars. While this large hospital was being built, the MoH commissioned expansion works at eight existing hospitals between 2008 and 2015. In October 2015 the prime minister officially opened an extension to Al Razi Hospital, with an additional 240 beds.

AL JAHRA HOSPITAL: The Amiri Diwan has commissioned the new Al Jahra Hospital, a project worth KD390m ($1.3bn) that had previously been delayed. The existing hospital will be expanded to create a 1171-bed infirmary with a full range of secondary and tertiary care facilities, including the main trauma centre for the Jahra area. The Kuwaiti firm Pace and hospital design specialists Tro JB were commissioned to design the new hospital, which is due to be completed by March 2018.

MATERNITY HOSPITAL: Kuwait awarded the KD219m ($724.5m) project to build a new maternity hospital in the Al Sabah Medical Area to Italian firm Pizzarotti. The hospital will be completed in 2018 and have 780 beds and 27 operating rooms. Some parts of the hospital will be 18 floors high, and the facility will also have 1300 parking spaces. Pizzarotti has also been involved in the expansion of Al Amiri Hospital. The completed facility has 416 beds and is in the Sharq area of Kuwait City.

FARWANIYA: Another hospital being expanded is Farwaniya, with a new complex including a dentistry building, specialist clinics, 27 operating theatres and 233 intensive care beds. The old hospital will be linked to the new site by air-conditioned bridges and a tunnel. The building contractor is Sayed Hamid Behbehani and Sons Company and the project is due in 2019.

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL: A 792-bed children’s hospital being built in the Al Sabah Medical Area in Shuwaikh is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2018. SSH won the contract from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Works, and aims to construct a futuristic design using new technology and energy-conservation techniques. The hospital will have a helipad for emergency cases and a 2000-space car park. The project has been valued at KD260m ($860m). SSH is also working on two other medical schemes in Kuwait: the Al Sabah Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord Centre; and the NBK Children’s Cancer Centre.

PRIVATE HOSPITALS: Although the client for most of the hospital projects in Kuwait is the MoH, which is responsible for providing free care and treatment to all citizens, new facilities are also being built to cater for the expatriate population, who are expected to pay for medical treatment in private facilities through health insurance. Funding for some of the newest facilities is coming from one from of the country’s first public-private partnerships (PPPs). The Boursa Kuwait-listed Arabi Holding Company won a 26% stake in Kuwait Health Assurance Company (KHAC) in the auction held by the Kuwait Investment Authority in 2013. In December 2016 the newly formed PPP announced its first agreement to provide new medical facilities. In a major KD162 ($536m) deal, KHAC commissioned China Metallurgical Group Corporation to build two hospitals to serve the insurance-paying expatriates who account for 70% of Kuwait’s population of 4.4m. The contract includes design, equipment and maintenance of the two hospitals, which will offer 600 beds when they open in 2019.