NMC Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: All ongoing investigations at NMC Health need to be “pursued” and involved parties “held accountable”, according to Faisal Behoul, former executive chairman at the UAE’s leading hospital operator.

“It remains crucial that the investigation into any and all prior wrongdoings at the company is fully supported with relevant authorities,” said Belhoul, who still remains an influential figure given his 9 per cent holding in NMC Health. “I will do all in my power to support this process, working with the administration team and other partners.”

NMC Health, which went into administration on the orders of the UK High Court, now has a reconstituted Board of Directors. Belhoul is not part of the new board, which now includes turnaround specialists.

But Belhoul says the new board will have his full support. “As the Chairman of Ithmar Capital, which owns a 9 per cent stake in NMC, my primary goal was always to bring operational and financial stability to the company and ensure the continuity of healthcare provision in the UAE, which has never been more critical as we manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Investigation status

NMC is the midst of multiple investigations, internal and external. Now that the administrations have formally taken over the running of the company, everyone is hopeful that formal charges will be filed in the UK and UAE, and that some progress would have be made in tracking down the missing $4 billion plus – the bank loans that could not be found on NMC’s books.

It will also provide some relief to the banks with exposure to NMC… all 80 of them. Because in the absence of any formal criminal charges being brought in, there are no closer to seeing any of their monies back.

The UK regulators and courts will be involved because NMC Health was listed on London Stock Exchange.

In the first statement issued by the three-member administration, it was made clear that investigations will be taken to their natural end.

In his statement Belhoul said: “The former board has now safely handed over the company to the administrator, whom I urge to act swiftly, equitably and in the best interests of all parties. I remain at the disposal of the company, not only as a shareholder but rather as a professional with healthcare sector experience acting in what I see a national duty at this time when the UAE is making every effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although putting a company under administration has many downsides, this was the only possible scenario given the circumstances, especially considering the fact that ADCB was willing to rescue the company as a going concern, rather than initiating liquidation procedures.

“In my previous role as Executive Chairman of NMC, my objective was to ensure that the administration process commenced without resorting to legal battles, which would have been detrimental to all parties - the company, the thousands of healthcare professional it employs and the patients they treat, and ultimately the wider healthcare sector and the UAE.”

Faisal Belhoul
Full support... Faisal Belhoul, who owns 9% in NMC Health, wants a full accounting of the missing funds, totalling $4 billion plus. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive