Medical professionals in diaspora to play an active role
By Dawit Taye, Reporter
Mela Ethiopia Share Company is to set up the biggest specialized hospital in Ethiopia with a start-up capital of 800 million, it was learnt.
The five-storey hospital building is expected to accommodate 600 beds, the highest number of beds in one hospital in Ethiopia to date.
The organizing committee disclosed that during a trip to the United States the team had the opportunity to broach the idea of starting Mela Hospital to the medical professionals there and had got encouraging responses.
It was noted that the medical personnel had shown a keen interest in the establishment of the hospital to the extent that they even formed a sub-committee to facilitate the organization process. The committee has been mandated to sell shares in the United States once it had kick-started in June.
Tsegaye Gebre Wold, chair of the organizing committee, told The Reporter that he was optimistic that Mela could play a critical role in saving the foreign currency that the country was losing currently due to the inadequate medical services available domestically.
Expected to be sited on 175,000 sq.m. of land, the hospital is going to be built here in Addis Ababa. However, the preliminary design work has been completed so far. Eshetu Temesgen, a member of the organizing committee and the managing director of ETG design and consultancy, a company responsible for the design of the hospital building, said that the design was made in way that the building incorporates resident facilities for employees, research institute for the hospital and other multi-purpose rooms aside from its main use. He noted that 250 million birr of the total capital was going to the construction expense while the rest was planned to purchase medical equipments and pay professionals.
The organizers said that the hospital aims at filling gap between health facilities available and the number of people in the country. They noted that the growing demand in medical services can not be met with the existing capacity in government hospitals and Mela could supplement the sector to a greater extent.
According to the committee, the hospital is planning to give a special laser-ray treatment to cancer patients, improve supply of critical drugs and perform safe and up-to-standard surgery procedures. Besides the treatments outlined above, the hospital is also to set up a rehabilitation center for those suffering from drug abuse and other addictive behaviors in order to save foreign currency that would have been otherwise spent in such treatments. On the other hand, the organizers have also revealed a plan to treat sterility at the new hospital that would be the first of its kind in the country.
The organizers expressed their confidence in the potential of the local medical professionals and said that given the right technology and equipment the country had enough professionals to do wonders in the discipline. They said that Mela would help satisfy the professional’s thrust by providing state-of-the-art technology while helping many people in the process.
The organizers noted that the government’s health programs are focused on health disorders that are most pressing to the majority of the population and said that that would be a historic responsibility of the private operators like themselves; that they should try to fill the gap in such areas.
Regarding the sale of the shares they disclosed that starting from the middle of next month the shares would be on the market and they had also planed to launch the sales at a special ceremony where government officials and prominent businessmen will be in attendance. According to the organizers, a single share will be offered at 1000 birr together with a benefit package that includes free annual medical check-up for the whole family when the hospital become operational.
Solomon Asmelash, member of the organizing committee, said on his part that thanks to the nature of the share company itself which is selling heath care services to the public, it would not be difficult to break into the market. He noted that the share markets are booming in Ethiopia at the moment and as a result it might seem that it would be impossible to compete in the share market. He added that to perform well in the share market it was vital to come up with a fresh strategy to enhance sales. “However, what we are offering here is closely connected to life and hence we are confident that Mela will sell itself” he said.
On the other hand, the organizers say that when the hospital became operational the shareholders would get up to 45 percent profit annually, out which 10 percent will be used to provide free health care service to the poor.