Doha, Qatar — November 11, 2010 – The Supreme Council of Health of the State of Qatar has awarded SAH Global a license to build the first ever Proton Therapy Center in the Middle East. This demonstrates the commitment of the State of Qatar towards remaining on the cutting-edge of medical advances and making the best treatments available for its citizens. This license, the first of its kind in the Middle East, promises to promote Proton Therapy as a less-invasive and innovative cancer treatment.
Through the license, SAH Global has been given the approval to build, own, and operate a Proton Therapy Center for treatment of cancer patients from the region and beyond, without the need of a local sponsor. Feroz Agad, Chairman and CEO of SAH Global said, “One of the driving factors that brought us to the State of Qatar was the favorable terms offered by the government, in terms of ownership in the healthcare sector without local sponsorship. We found that Dr. Jamal Khanji and the Supreme Health Authority have shown an exceptional drive and commitment to the well being of the people of Qatar and the surrounding region.” Additionally, through its subsidiary, SAH Care, patients from the Middle East will be able to receive treatment at SAH Global’s partner centers until the Doha center is completed. Earlier this year the Qatar National Cancer Society and SAH signed a landmark agreement ensuring the availability of Proton Therapy Cancer Treatment to patients referred by the QNCS.
Mr. Agad said, “By being the first to acquire this type of license in the Middle East, we can now commence in fulfilling our vision of building a network of Proton Therapy Cancer Centers, regionally and globally, with our Prime Center based in the State of Qatar. We are also engaged in discussions with other ministers and potential local partners throughout the GCC and Europe, including Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom as potential sites for our future satellite centers.” It has been estimated that the Prime Center in Qatar will come at a cost of approximately $150 million and will be able to treat up to 2200 patients a year, as well as serve as a training and educational center for physicians and therapists from around the world.
Mr. Agad further added, “Being awarded this License has brought us another step closer in the fight against cancer in the Middle East, enabling us to commence in putting Qatar at the forefront of Proton Therapy delivery and education. By bringing this progressive technology, we at SAH are actively recruiting local personnel to educate and train, in keeping with one of our aims to provide knowledge transfer in the region.” SAH Global’s commitment to education will ensure that the State of Qatar will not only serve as an avenue for treatment, but also as a center for research and development in the fight against cancer, a vision which is in keeping with that of the Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and HRH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned.
SAH Global has been the pioneer in bringing this technology to the Middle East and was the first to introduce Proton Therapy as a viable solution at this year’s Hospital Build Middle East Conference. Additionally SAH’s COO, Mr. Faique Sayeed, co-chaired the Leaders in Healthcare Symposium, while Mr. Agad delivered a presentation about the future of healthcare in the Middle East.
Proton Therapy was pioneered in the United States 30 years ago and to date has been used for treatment on over 60,000 patients. Proton Therapy treatment uses protons, the positively charged particles in the nucleus of an atom. The power of protons allows higher doses of radiation to be used to control and manage cancer while significantly reducing damage to healthy tissue and vital organs. The result is a higher quality of life and higher success rate than is currently offered by traditional radiation therapy.