The UCL Medical School (UCLMS) is joining forces with the Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) and UCLA Health on a £318m ($400m) healthcare project in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The project will see the establishment of a university hospital in Amman with at least 300 beds, 60 outpatient clinics, an ambulatory care building and a medical school with capacity for 600 students, with a projected annual intake of 100 students. The project is expected to create over 5,000 jobs in Jordan and encourage a new generation of doctors, researchers and future leaders in medicine.
A key aim of the project will be to attract global expertise on healthcare education to Jordan, helping to improve its healthcare sector, strengthen its model of accountable care, provide high-quality healthcare services and boost Jordan’s offer for medical tourism.
UCLMS is the academic partner on the project, providing education and research advice in medicine and health. Up to 7.5% of the project’s revenue will be dedicated to research and development in Jordan. UCLA Health is the clinical partner on the project.
As part of the agreement, a senior research leader from UCL’s Medical School will lead a team to support SJIF to develop a high-level research strategy that outlines its vision, strategic goals and research focus in the short, medium and longer terms. The strategy will provide a basis for research activity at the new medical school and inform decisions about staffing, buildings and the MD programme.
UCL academic lead Dr Ahmed Rashid (UCL Medical Sciences Vice-Dean, International) said: “The goal of this project is to co-design a new undergraduate medicine programme that will draw on the extensive experience of medical science and clinical training at UCL and the local academic traditions and health priorities in Jordan. We have been working with the SJIF team in the early phases of this work and are delighted to have finalised an agreement with them to continue this exciting work over the next ten years.”
Omar Alwir (SJIF CEO) said: “The partnership with UCL Medical School will play a vital role in realising the project’s vision in adding value to medical education in Jordan. We’re proud to collaborate with UCL Medical School, which is ranked among the top 10 institutions in medicine worldwide.
“By providing access to distinguished medical education, we hope to build medical competencies aimed at graduating a new generation of doctors, researchers and future leaders in medicine, to set new standards in healthcare across Jordan.”
Professor David Lomas (UCL Vice-Provost, Health) said: “This is a sensational project, and I am delighted UCL will play a pivotal role.
“We are a research-led university that puts enquiry at the heart of learning. Our Medical School is one of the world’s best and a part of UCL Health – a grouping of academics that topped the medicine, health and life sciences panel in the recent UK-wide assessment of university research.
“Our expertise in health education, research, and our experience of working closely with partner hospitals will enable us to support SJIF in creating a transformative strategy for the new university hospital.”
UCL Medical School was supported by UCL Consultants Ltd (UCLC) during the contract negotiations with SJIF. The final contracts between the Jordanian Government, represented by the Jordan Investment Fund, and SJIF, were signed at Jordan’s Prime Ministry on the 1st June 2022. Construction work for the healthcare project is expected to start later in 2022, following completion of the design work.