Aster DM buys into Abu Dhabi's day care clinical services

The acquisition of Abu Dhabi’s Harley Street Medical Centre (HSMC) by Aster DM Healthcare is expected to give the Dubai company a platform to expand in day care services in the capital.

Aster DM bought a 60 per cent stake in HSMC for an undisclosed amount last week.

“This is a niche sector and we see it as a good sector to grow,” said Kartik Thakrar, the financial controller for the Arabian Gulf region at Aster DM Healthcare.


The company has five polyclinics in Abu Dhabi under the Aster brand as well as eight pharmacies.

There are 110 employees at the centre, including 20 doctors, and Aster DM expects that number to grow as it expands in size in six months, to 35,000 square feet from 18,000 sq ft. It will also introduce new services within three months. After the expansion, Mr Thakrar said, it will apply for a hospital licence.

The company expects to float an initial public offering in Mumbai next year.

Changes made to health cover benefits offered by national insurance company Daman this year have made it more expensive for some residents to seek treatment outside the emirate.

One of the reasons for Dubai providers buying facilities in Abu Dhabi is because of these changes in regulations, said Mansoor Ahmed, the director for healthcare practices at Colliers International.

“The day care facilities market in Abu Dhabi is less developed than in Dubai and hence less competition, and it is easier to expand faster in this segment in Abu Dhabi if a Dubai provider buys an established day care provider with an established patient base,” he said.

With new technology, patients can undergo some procedures at a day care centre and be discharged the same day.

Insurance companies are encouraging the day care facilities to reduce the load at hospitals in Abu Dhabi as it reduces the cost of hospital stays, Mr Ahmed said.

HSMC, in the Marina Business Park, offers services in urology, cosmetic surgery, gynaecology, gastroenterology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, internal medicine and general surgery. It started operations in 2013. Aster DM’s purchase also includes a sleep lab clinic and a dental centre close to the existing facility.

There is a shortage of about 700 hospital beds in Abu Dhabi, according to Colliers International.

“This partnership not only expands our niche service offering, but gives us an additional platform to deliver sophisti­cated healthcare services,” said Azad Moopen, Aster DM Healthcare’s chairman and managing director.

The law firm Clyde & Co, which was AsterDM’s adviser on the deal, said the healthcare group is now a US$6 billion business.

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