Riaz Malik, Chairman, Bahria Town (left); Sobhi Batterjee, president of Bait Al Batterjee Medical Company and founder of SGH and Khurram Harris Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Saudi German Hospitals (SGH) group will build and manage hospitals in Bahria Town gated-communities in Pakistan, top management of the two companies announced on Thursday in Dubai.

The partnership will revolutionise Pakistan’s health care sector, eliminating the need for Pakistanis to travel to the West for treatment, Riaz Malik, chairman of Bahria Town, said at a press conference at Saudi German Hospital Dubai, where Sobhi Batterjee, president of Bait Al Batterjee (BAB) Medical Company, the founder of SGH, also spoke.

Under the agreement, SGH will build a 150-300 bed hospital in each Bahria Town development, starting with Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in the first stage. BAB will also take over the upcoming new hospital of Bahria Town in Lahore as an operator and possibly also manage all hospitals of Bahria Town.

Each SGH-built hospital will have an investment of $100 million (Dh367 million), Batterjee said, and be built on a 12-acre plot of land provided for free in Bahria Town communities.

Malik said Bahria Town hospitals “will not stop treatment because of [patients’] financial problems. Bahria Town will put in its own money [to cover the remaining cost]”.

Batterjee said the partnership will lead to “reverse medical tourism” where patients and doctors from outside Pakistan will travel to SGH and SGH-managed hospitals in Pakistan. He said SGH’s foray in Pakistan will set a benchmark to which all other health care facilities will be compared.

“This will increase the corporate investment injection into health care, which is missing in Pakistan. Health care is an industry in itself, many people miss that fact,” Batterjee added.

Malik said Bahria Town hospitals meanwhile will gain from the 30-year expertise of SGH. “Unfortunately, there are too many health issues in Pakistan. We wanted to focus on this sector and after researching for the best health care provider, we found that SGH would be our ideal partner,” Malik added. “We are one team and I commit to giving Pakistan the best treatment ever,” said Batterjee.