Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – VPS Healthcare, a leading integrated healthcare service provider with 20 operational hospitals and over 125 medical centres across the Middle East, Europe and India, has chosen Etihad Airways as its preferred air transport provider for patients travelling from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi for medical treatment.
Etihad will provide VPS Healthcare with special rates on
air fares on its flights from Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, complementing VPS’s
medical services at its eight hospitals, including the flagship Burjeel
Hospital, and clinics in Abu Dhabi. The deal was announced at a meeting at
Etihad headquarters, attended by senior Etihad Aviation Group executives and
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad
Aviation Group, said: “Two of Abu Dhabi’s
most esteemed brands are working together to reinforce the capital’s reputation
as a world-class medical hub. Etihad is tremendously experienced in providing
in-flight care and assistance to international travellers with pre-existing
medical conditions. This expertise is a major factor in VPS Healthcare’s
decision to select Etihad as their preferred airline from the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia. We are comforted in the knowledge that our Saudi based customers will
be guaranteed the highest standards of world-class medical care once on the
ground in Abu Dhabi.”
Dhabi’s location makes it an ideal setting for a hub for medical tourism, with
two-thirds of the world’s population just a few hours flight away and we are
excited to be working with Etihad Airways, knowing that our patients will be in
good hands during their journey,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and
Managing Director of VPS Healthcare.
healthcare is one of the pillars of the National Agenda, and the Abu Dhabi
government is supporting initiatives to build a robust healthcare system,”
added Dr. Shamsheer. “Due to the rigorous regulations mandated by the Ministry
of Health & Prevention, visitors and patients are assured of the highest
quality of safety and care.”
In July 2018, Etihad Airways launched two specialised services for air
travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, ensuring continuity of care
and in-flight safety.
The ‘one-stop-shop’ services – the first in the region to
be offered by an airline – are carried out by members of the Etihad medical
team, all of whom are qualified in aviation and transport medicine.
The first service allows guests, who require medical
clearance prior to travel, the opportunity to request an Etihad aviation doctor
to visit them and conduct an evaluation in consultation with their attending
All medical forms and assessments will be completed by
the Etihad doctor on-site, leading to a recommendation about their ‘fit to fly’
status within one day.
The second service is an in-flight nurse who can
accompany guests during their trip and provide medical support from all the
Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services, Etihad Aviation
Group, added: “We are committed with our
partnership with the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi to deliver their goal of
promoting the capital as a hub for medical tourism, and we are working on
multiple initiatives to support the wider Abu Dhabi vision.”