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Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has announced that it will assume full management responsibility of Al Ain Hospital from Aug 31 after its current five-year management contract with VAMED Engineering and the Medical University of Vienna (MUV) expires.

Seha said in a statement that after careful consideration of its prior strategy of outsourced hospital management, it will not seek renewal of the management contract.

"Our goal is to create a world-class integrated healthcare system. At this stage, we are reassessing the system of hospital management that relies on our international partners. Both VAMED and MUV have been steadfast partners of Seha since 2007 and we thank them for their support," said Carl Stanifer, CEO for Seha Corporate.

Under VAMED/MUV management, Al Ain hospital has made great strides towards becoming a world-class healthcare institution in the Middle East, winning numerous awards and accreditations since 2010.

“Both VAMED and MUV are excellent managers and the hospital is in prime condition. For the patient and the average employee, there will be no change in the daily routine. We intend to make this as smooth as possible for everyone,” said Stanifer.

A localising and cost saving move for Seha, the move will nonetheless give those in the medical build sector pause for thought when negotiating build and operate contracts, for which the latter aspect can often represent a significant proportion of the profitability and appeal of projects.

The new Al Ain Hospital is up for tender right now, havng been recently approved by the Executive Council, with construction due to commence in 2013 and end in 2016. It remains to be seen if VAMED/MUV bid.

"Along with Seha, they have made remarkable progress in helping Al Ain Hospital and the associated Family Medical Centres achieve healthcare service in line with international standards. Our door will always be open to working with partners like these,” assured Stanifer.

Seha was established in 2007 as part of the Government of Abu Dhabi's emirate-wide healthcare reform initiative aiming to provide the people with healthcare services that match international standards.