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Byline: The Nation.
Amid increasing competition at home, leading private healthcare companies are looking overseas, and the Middle East is turning into their new battlefield.
Leading Thai hospitals Bumrungrad International and Bangkok Hospital are investing more heavily abroad, while at least two other operators are ratcheting up advertising in international markets.
In June, Bumrungrad signed a four-year agreement with the Abu Dhabi Health Authority to operate al-Mafraq Hospital in the United Arab Emirates.
Under the agreement, Bumrungrad will manage the popular hospital in the al-Mafraq region. It has 460 beds and sees 310,000 patients annually. Construction will start this year on a new modern hospital building, replacing the present facility by mid-2011.
Dennis Brown, chief executive officer of Bumrungrad International, said Dubai was an …