Mauritius, long known for its beautiful beaches, is becoming a hotspot for a different kind of investment: healthcare.

As the population ages and expats seek better care, the private sector is stepping in, attracted by the potential for returns and the chance to transform the island into a medical hub with alternative real-estate opportunities.

The shift in healthcare-property funding in Mauritius is highlighted by Kevin Teeroovengadum, chief executive officer of Janus Continental Group (JCG) - a conglomerate with interests in various sectors, including energy, hospitality, and real estate, primarily operating in Africa: “It's no longer just about government funding through taxes. The private sector has identified the opportunity as the ageing population, and expats demand better care.

"Alternative healthcare investment can be driven forward with strategic planning from both public and private investment. This would position Mauritius as a preferred destination for people seeking good healthcare facilities, especially from the African continent, as it’s not easy to access suitable healthcare in Europe due to visa and currency issues.”

Emerging healthcare hub in Mauritius

He adds that, while Mauritius might seem a small market for healthcare, it has big potential. Backing from the hospitality, banking, and real-estate sectors makes it an attractive investment market well suited to offering private care for patients who may otherwise have to travel to India or Europe.

Demonstrating this shift is the growth of Falcon Healthcare Group, which aims to become one of the largest healthcare operators in Mauritius and elevate the island into a regional medical hub, serving countries like Madagascar, Seychelles and even eastern and southern Africa.

It launched its first multi-specialty hospital, Artemis Curepipe Hospital, with 81 beds in mid-2023, and a year later, it is about to start the construction of its second hospital, Artemis Coromandel Hospital, with 140 beds, offering oncology services to the island. These assets are developed and owned by Grea, the development arm of London-listed Grit Real Estate Income Group as part of its diversification into more defensive impact real estate.

Falcon’s principals have already started the construction of a third hospital in the west of Mauritius, which will be a multi-specialty regional hospital servicing close to 150,000 people in the West of the country, taking its total beds to 331. Its entry into healthcare in Mauritius has added greater choice to the sector, for both patients and doctors and introduced the most modern healthcare facilities, equipment and technology on the island.

Strategic healthcare partnership

Falcon Healthcare group has partnered with Artemis Medicare, one of India's healthcare pioneers operating in New Delhi. Falcon is led by high calibre investors, including impact investor Safyr Capital Partners, Zouberr Joomaye, and Groupe Filatex, a leading renewable energy and real-estate company based in Madagascar, and Grit Mauritius.

Bronwyn Knight, chief executive officer of Grit Mauritius, reveals, “When we were presented with the opportunity to partner with Artemis and Safyr in bringing exceptional healthcare expertise to the island, we saw it as a perfect fit, offering financial performance and aligning with our growth plans and investment goals.

"Our investments into healthcare in Mauritius represent the cornerstone of creating a unique platform, backed by private investors, that could position Mauritius as a regional healthcare hub.”

Knight points out that healthcare real estate, by its very nature, is defensive and resilient, and the pandemic had clearly highlighted Mauritius's need for advanced care.

“Diversifying the offering further through specialised, world-class care and treatments can improve lives in Mauritius and boost the economy through investment and medical tourism. But finance and operations expertise are major hurdles.”

Navigating challenges in Mauritian healthcare

Deva Marianen, managing director of Safyr Capital, a key shareholder in Falcon Healthcare Group, also notes that healthcare in Mauritius has its challenges, but they can be managed and overcome.

“Licensing is tough. There is a shortage of specialised staff and we have consequently partnered strategically with universities to train local talents. Providing top doctors with a state-of-the-art platform is key to our business model which allows them to treat patients with the latest technology available in the medical space globally.

"We value the skills and expertise of our operating partner, Artemis Medicare Services, which allows us to blend the right mix of skills between India and Mauritius both from a medical and operational perspective. Our aim ultimately is to service our local population but at the same time position our country as a regional hub and as a centre of excellence in the healthcare space.”

The second annual API Mauritius & Indian Ocean Property Forum, which was held on Thursday, 13 June 2024 at the InterContinental Hotel & Resort, unpacked opportunities and lessons learned in various markets and astute use of financing options, and focused on emerging alternative asset classes, including healthcare real estate, in its ‘Growth Levers’ panel.

Somaya Joshua, Absa Africa head: commercial property finance: Africa region (Outside South Africa), says, “Absa Commercial Property Finance was proud to contribute to the ‘Growth Levers’ panel at the API Mauritius Property Summit.

"Our insights and on-the-ground presence allow our teams to structure to market using diverse financing strategies, including green financing, and is a reflection of our expertise and commitment to the African real estate market.”

Murray Anderson-Ogle, general manager of marketing and commercial at API Events, says, “Mauritius is starting to compete with India and Europe, offering world-class healthcare to patients from across Africa.

"It's a bold vision, but with the right funding and expertise, it could become a reality, boosting the economy, improving lives, and creating an exciting new opportunity for real estate. The API Mauritius & Indian Ocean Property Forum’s ‘Growth Levers’ panel shone a light on this and other promising opportunities, strategies, and tactics for the property sector.”




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