Abu Dhabi-based VPS Healthcare Group is investing £150 million (Dh856m) on a cancer care hospital in London set to open in 2017.
The 150-bed hospital will occupy a historic grade II-listed property that was the former home of Royal Masonic Hospital, which became the Ravenscourt Park Hospital in 2002, but closed down in 2006.
VPS, however, will retain the name Ravenscourt Park Hospital.
“This will give us access to the technology, healthcare expertise, best of locations, access to leading doctors and puts us in a league of world-class healthcare providers,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the founder and managing director of VPS Healthcare, from London, where he launched the hospital yesterday.
It would be the first private hospital in the UK to offer the proton beam therapy, a kind of radiotherapy, used in cancer treatment.
A couple of UK’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) hospitals are expected to offer the service before the end of 2017 as these patients are now sent to the US and other countries for the therapy.
The VPS Healthcare facility would employ about 950 healthcare professionals, including consulting doctors.
The cost of the therapy is estimated to vary from £35,000 to £40,000.
The London facility would the first in Europe for VPS Healthcare. It already owns and runs hospitals in the UAE, Oman and India under the Burjeel and LifeLine Hospital brands. It also owns pharmacies in the UAE.
The group’s UAE hospitals are expected to gain from visiting doctors and medical tourism as a result of the London hospital.
Private hospital operators find “high barriers of entry and expansion”, according to a report from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority last year.
The UAE would have the proton beam therapy, the first in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, by 2018 in Abu Dhabi as part of a government initiative.