With superb tourism infrastructure, complemented by visa-free access to citizens of 80 countries, among other advantages, Qatar has the makings of a world-class medical tourism hub, said an official of Alfardan Group, which has ventured into Qatar’s medical services sector.
Recently, Alfardan Group launched Alfardan Medical with Northwestern Medicine (AMNM), which will offer a wide variety of ambulatory care services. AMNM is located in an 11,000sq m facility in Burj Alfardan in Lusail.
Alfardan Group has “all the pillars for hospitality,” while Northwestern Medical “is a global name” in the field of medical care, said Alfardan Group chief development officer Fayad M al-Khatib, who stressed that AMNM is “an excellent match of culture and in vision.”
Al-Khatib said patients arriving at Hamad International Airport could be brought either to AMNM or to Alfardan Group’s string of hotels, such as the St Regis and Kempinski hotels. Patients can also go on “well-organised tours” of the country for a first-rate medical tourism experience, he continued.
“I’m sure that when we talk to the other stakeholders, they will all want to be part of this…if we organise well, we will have a great medical tourism industry, al-Khatib told Gulf Times.
Al-Khatib said after a thorough assessment of Qatar’s medical sector, AMNM wanted to complement what is available in the market rather than to compete. “We found that there is an opportunity in the ambulant care sector, so we started to build a facility for outpatient and ambulatory care.”
He said AMNM will offer various medical specialties, including ear, nose and throat (ENT); dentistry; dermatology; gastroenterology; internal medicine; ophthalmology; orthopaedics; cosmetic and reconstructive surgery; reproductive endocrinology/embryology, physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R); sleep medicine; and executive health.
“We strive to have the highest standards in anything we do at Alfardan, so we’ve looked at the best around the world from the regional, European, to US healthcare providers and we found that healthcare in the US a little bit more flexible, and that they offer direct access to specialties, and also they’ve done really well in combining medical and hospitality.
“We’re doing well in the field of hospitality and we have all the pillars for hospitality and they have the medical part, and also in terms of attention to detail, Northwestern Medicine is really one of the top 10 in the world in supply and medical care,” al-Khatib pointed out.
He added: “What is more important is that when we talk about medical tourism, Northwestern Medicine has a great system in the US; they have 11 hospitals and 100 outpatient clinics, including 4,500 doctors, and over 30,000 employees – that is a huge medical system that would be of great advantage to patients.”