It is expected that a new private hospital run by Iceland Healthcare will open in the military hospital at the old US Naval Air Station at Keflavík in August. Modification work is scheduled to begin early next year and finish in mid-2011.
From the old US Naval Air Station in Keflavík. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.
At the hospital, foreigners, especially British and Nordic citizens, will be offered specialized treatments, joint replacements and gastric bypass surgery along with rehabilitation. The hospital will also offer rehabilitation for cardiac patients and behavioral treatment for obesity patients, Morgunbladid reports.
Sveinn Geir Einarsson, former chief physician at the hospital St. Jósefsspítali is preparing operations at the new hospital as medical managing director.
It is assumed that patients usually travel with their spouses or some other person close to them and stay at a hospital hotel for two weeks after surgery on average.
Iceland Healthcare, which is primarily in the ownership of entrepreneur Róbert Wessman, estimates that the hospital and related operations can create up to 300 jobs in the employment-starved Sudurnes region.
The old military hospital has been vacant since the US military left the base in 2006. The Keflavík Airport Development Corporation (KADECO) has contributed the asset to a new company, Seltún, which was founded with the participation of other shareholders.
Funds must be invested in repairs and interior design and managing director of KADECO Kjartan Thór Einarsson estimates that the project will cost around ISK 1 billion (USD 9 million, EUR 6 million). Design work is well underway, Einarsson said. Eleven contractors bid on the project.
The rent will cover the investment and the operation; Iceland Healthcare has a 25-year lease contract. Einarsson said the future goal is to sell the assets. Iceland Healthcare is also renting two apartment complexes in the vicinity for a hospital hotel.
Mayor of Reykjanesbaer municipality Árni Sigfússon said the project is profitable both for KADECO and the entire area. Medical workers will come from all over the country. “With time people will choose to live close to their workplaces and that is positive for us.”