The GCC healthcare market is projected to grow at a 12.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $71.3bn in 2020, according to Alpen Capital.
As a manufacturer of advanced plastic piping systems, Aliaxis is already reaping the benefits of this growth by catering to several hospital projects across the GCC.
Some of the projects the firm is involved in are Kings College Hospital, Dubai, Al Almiri Hospital, Kuwait, Batterjee Medical City development that consists of several medical facilities in Dammam, including the Saudi German Hospital, Clemenceau Medical Center in Riyadh and Dubai, Aster Hospital in Dubai, Thumbay hospital in Ajman, Oncology Centre in Bahrain, Royal Omani Police Hospital in Oman, Al Jahra Hospital in Kuwait, Al Jahlila Hospital in Dubai, and the Neuro Spinal Hospital in Dubai.
Talking about the increase in healthcare projects, Tariq Abbadi, head of sales, Aliaxis Building Solutions (ABS), says: “Healthcare projects are usually very large investments that should last for an extensive lifecycle. Additionally, facilities such as hospitals and laboratories hold expensive and important equipment that cannot be damaged by any incidents caused by low qualitative building material. It takes great experience to be appointed as a contractor or MEP consultant for hospitals; only companies with extensive previous experience in that field are prioritised. It is the same case with piping.
“We are a fluid handling systems manufacturer with globally-recognised products that are used in hospitals. During the past year, Aliaxis was able to secure a good track record through many hospital references with respect to its own brands such as Akatherm HDPE drainage, Wefatherm PPR hot and cold-water system, dBlue acoustic drainage, Sanit concealed cisterns, Marley PVC drainage, and Durapipe’s Vulcathene chemical drainage.”
According to Abbadi, acoustic drainage has already been a topic in hospitality but lately it has also become essential for hospital developments.
Patients in a hospital require a quite environment, which also helps in their recovery, and so, an acoustic soundproof drainage system should be installed in a patient’s room. Abbadi says: “Akatherm dBlue acoustic drainage has great demand because of its sound attenuation features. Decision makers and stakeholders are also keen to have products that are hygienically approved or have certifications, such as WRAS approval.”
Abbadi says that healthcare projects need a different level of expertise.
He adds: “Healthcare development are often large developments, if not mega developments, such as Healthcare City or the recent Batterjee Medical City in Saudi Arabia. Those require a strategic selection of suppliers and stakeholders involved. Hospital developers and owners prefer to work with consultants and contractors that have a proven track record of previously done hospital work on a global scale.
“Once a company reaches such a prestigious reputation, it does not want to take a risk by cutting corners and working with low quality materials.”
Right product selection is an important factor in a successful project. Abbadi says that in the process of construction, it is not solely working with the right supplier, but also choosing the accurate product for the right purpose and application. He elaborates: “A good example is Durapipe’s chemical drainage system called Vulcathene. It is important to use chemical resistance piping, especially in laboratories and hospitals. However, it can easily be combined with other materials, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in areas where non-chemical waste water gets accumulated. In choosing the correct water supply system, it is also challenging to select a good quality product that can resist certain chlorine doses used for cleaning the system and preventing legionella.”
Abbadi says that Aliaxis does not see itself as only a manufacturer, but as a solutions provider that offers services to help the development of any building. He says: “We want to be part of delivering a successful project that the community will benefit from. We also want to have a trouble-free life cycle in a project. Those services start by educating about certain hygienic standards and products while helping customers make the right product selection from the range, for each specific purpose. Our local and global employees support the design process of the MEP work, do trainings onsite and at prior events, and they thoroughly follow the construction process. They also carry out regular site visits to ensure a smooth installation and testing process.”
As evident, the development of the healthcare sector has taken off in the GCC. In addition, governments are injecting huge funds as well as encouraging private sector participation to build hospitals, upgrade the existing infrastructure, and match the quality of services offered in developed countries. Aliaxis has certainly focused its objectives in the right arena.