Years of war, including the 2003 US invasion, coupled with the Covid-19 outbreak have challenged Iraq’s health sector.
Qatar-based Estithmar Holding has announced the establishment of its subsidiary of Elegancia Healthcare in Iraq on Monday following the recent signing of memoranda of understanding between Doha and Baghdad.
“[Elegancia’s] subsidiary ‘Elegancia Healthcare W.L.L.’ has established a branch in Iraq in line with the memorandum of understanding that was signed recently that aims to manage and operate several hospitals in Iraq that will start soon in Iraq,” the Qatar-based company said in a press release.
The statement added that Estithmar established a new branch of Elegancia Marine in Iraq as part of the implementation of the memorandum, signed in June during the visit of Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to Baghdad.
Estithmar signed three agreements worth $7 billion with the National Investment Commission in Iraq, covering real estate, tourism and hospitality, as well as management and operation of several hospitals.
“This implements Estithmar Holding’s strategy to signify its commitment to the global expansion to increase shareholder value, within the framework of the close strategic relations between the two countries,” the Qatar-based firm added.
The first MoU included the development of two modern residential cities designed to respond to a shortage in housing that is estimated to be at two million units, Vice Chairman of Estithmar Holding Ramez Al-Khayyat said, according to a statement sent to Doha News at the time of the signing.
“The cities will be planned in accordance with the international standards and will include residential complexes, villas, schools, commercial complexes, entertainment centres, and other facilities and services, in addition to all the basic infrastructure,” he said in June.
The second agreement set a framework for cooperation to develop 5-star hotels in distinct locations across Iraq that are expected to contribute to meeting rising demands in the Iraqi hospitality sector.
The third MoU signed by Elegancia Healthcare will manage and operate a number of hospitals in Iraq and provide high-level medical services to locals in the country, Al-Khayyat added.
Following decades of conflict triggered by the 2003 US invasion as well as the Covid-19 outbreak have posed a challenge to Iraq’s health sector. Baghdad requires additional assistance to fully recover from its troubled past.
According to the Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies, Iraq’s healthcare system witnessed “a steady decline since the late-1980s as a result of conflicts and the resultant economic troubles.”
Meanwhile, Medics Without Borders (MSF) said that “many” of Iraq’s health facilities lack medical supplies and specialists, placing immense pressure on the fragile sector during the pandemic.