A Middle Eastern healthcare giant is making its first foray into the UK after pledging to reopen the Royal Masonic Hospital in Hammersmith as a new cancer centre, creating 2,000 jobs.
VPS Healthcare was founded by Indian doctor and entrepreneur Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, who opened his first hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2007. The group now owns a network of hospitals, pharmacies and medical support services across the Middle East and India with over 7,500 staff.
In a statement out today, VPS said the west London hospital, which closed in 2006, will reopen its doors in 2017 with 150 beds and supported by 2,000 staff.
The hospital will also be the first private facility in the UK to offer proton beam therapy – a type of radiotherapy that uses sub-atomic particles to attack cancer cells with less damage to surrounding tissues than conventional radiotherapy.
The investment was welcomed by Boris Johnson, who last year launched MedCity, a body aimed at turning London and the south east into a world leader for medical sciences.
The London mayor said: “This is tremendous vote of confidence in London’s thriving life sciences sector as well as the skills and talent of our amazing healthcare professionals.”
Vayalil said: “VPS Healthcare has been encouraged by the UK government’s ongoing policy to support health and pharmaceutical companies, and we believe that our investment in this dynamic sector will not only ensure that we play a key role in supporting this initiative, but will also help to grow and develop the next generation of medical breakthroughs.”