Aster DM enters the fray with first clinic opening in Sharjah

Sananda Sahoo

Aster DM Healthcare has opened its first clinic in Sharjah as the emirate seeks to fill the gap in specialised health care.

The Medcare centre will provide diagnostic services, paediatrics, ophthalmology and physiotherapy with a team of 20 full-time and part-time physicians and 14 nurses.


Spread over 12,000 square feet, the new multi-speciality clinic on Al Taawun Street expects to attract residents from the Northern Emirates as well. It can accommodate around 200 patients a day.

Aster is also opening its first IVF clinic in Dubai’s Jumeirah neighbourhood next week.

The Dubai-based healthcare provider has some major projects coming online soon. The largest Medcare-branded hospital will open on Sharjah’s King Faisal Street comprising 150 beds in September, while a 100-bed Aster hospital is ex­pected to open in the northern emirate next year.

When these open, the hospitals are expected to compete with the existing University Hospital Sharjah, which opened in 2011, and long-established names such as Al Zahra Hospital, Zulekha Hospital, Central Private Hospital and Royal Hospital.

The Sharjah healthcare market is expected to grow to Dh5.6 billion in 2020 from Dh3.6bn last year, according to Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

“Despite a number of incidents requiring care [per 1,000 population] that is relatively higher than in the rest of the UAE, the supply side of the sector is lagging behind the demand,” it said on its website. “As there are currently no specialised medical centres in Sharjah, opportunities exist for highly specialised oncology hospitals, and for speciality clinics for diabetes treatment and paediatrics.”

To fill the need for specialised care, Shurooq is developing the Sharjah Healthcare City free zone.

“There was a need for high-end clinics in Sharjah,” said Ala Atari, the chief executive of Medcare Hospital. “Mandatory health insurance in Dubai is expected to kick in fully by the end of this year and that will give us a boost as well.”

Mandatory health insurance is yet to materialise in Sharjah, but the emirate has a spillover effect from people working in Dubai but living in Sharjah.

ssahoo@thenational.ae

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