ISLAMABAD: A Saudi delegation met with top officials of Pakistan’s health ministry late last week to discuss ways to expedite construction of the first-ever tertiary care hospital in rural Islamabad, the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Hospital, a senior official
at Pakistan’s health ministry said on Tuesday.
The Saudi delegation was led by Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Regional Manager Dr. Saud Al Shammari and the Pakistani side by Director General Health, Malik Muhammad Safi.
“The total cost of the [hospital] building is Rs2,500 million, out of which Rs500 million was the cost of the land, which was provided by the Pakistani government while the remaining Rs2,000 million would be spent by the Saudi side,” Safi told Arab News in an interview
in Islamabad on Tuesday.
He said Saudi officials had suspended the contractor hired by them earlier as they were not satisfied with progress on the project.
“During the meeting last week, the Saudi delegation informed us that they [Saudis] have voided the previous contractor and now are discussing hiring a new firm,” Safi said. “It will take another four months to complete the process of hiring through international bidding.”
After a new contractor is hired, it will take two years to complete the first phase of the 200-bed hospital, to which another 300 beds would be added in the future, Safi said.
“Pakistan has built a complete boundary wall and installed gates on the plot and possession has been given to Saudi officials,” he said. “Now they [Saudis] will take over control of further construction process. Their technical team is coordinating with our team to
complete and expedite the work.”
Safi said the hospital would benefit over three million people from both urban and rural Islamabad.
“Saudi Arabia is building a hospital in Islamabad as a gift to the people of Pakistan through the Saudi Fund for Development,” Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, told Arab News in Islamabad. “There are many welfare projects in the pipeline for
the Pakistani people and they will be executed by different Saudi agencies all over Pakistan.”