Hanwha Group, the nation’s 10th-largest conglomerate, has won a $200 million project to establish hospital facilities and provide medical assistance in Bismayah, Iraq.
A drawing of Hanwha Group’s hospital project in Bismayah, Iraq. (Hanwha)
Under the agreement, Hanwha Engineering and Construction will build the hospital on a 77,000 square meter plot of land. The group’s trade and commerce team will assign medical staff and manage the operation, Hanwha officials said Tuesday.
The group is said to be in talks with Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital in Seoul for a partnership.
About 150 medical staff will be dispatched to the new hospital when it opens in the first half of 2018.
“Iraq currently lacks national infrastructure and we thought establishing a hospital there was the foremost thing to do,” a Hanwha spokesperson said.
The deal is part of the group’s $2.12 billion project announced last week to build additional infrastructure in the new city, about 10 kilometers southeast of Baghdad. Along with the medical infrastructure, Hanwha will also build 300 schools and police stations.
Hanwha joins a string of local companies that have launched businesses overseas to establish medical infrastructure and services in affiliation with local hospitals, including SK Chemical, Samsung Group and Korea Yakult.
The conglomerate’s medical project in Iraq is in line with President Park Geun-hye’s emphasis on Korea’s health care and medical services industry expanding in Iraq.
During her four-nation tour of the Middle East in March, she vowed active support for Korean companies and hospitals to gain successful footing in the region.
Korea is already one of the top medical tourism destination for citizens of the Middle East. In 2013, about 2,500 people from the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar visited Korea for health care and medical treatment, with the average person spending about 17.7 million won ($16,100) during their stay.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)