The new management of embattled healthcare operator NMC Health is focusing on continuance of operations and financial stability as its priorities.
One week into his new role as Executive Chairman of the UAE’s largest private healthcare provider, Faisal Belhoul said his immediate priority is to achieve operational and financial stability to provide frontline care in the battle against COVID-19 and to prioritise payments to its healthcare workers and critical suppliers.
The company has been facing major setbacks since the US-based short seller Muddy Waters Capital accused it of financial improprieties in December. Later in March it was cut from the UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 Index
NMC Health operates more than 200 facilities including 14 centres of excellence, has more than 2,200 hospital beds and a staff of 2,000 doctors in 20 countries.
Under its new leadership, NMC Health has the ability and commitment to provide vital healthcare services to the community at this critical time, strengthen the company’s business fundamentals and increase the value of the NMC Group’s business - and consequently returns, to creditors and shareholders, Belhoul said in a statement.
NMC’s debt is currently estimated at $6.6 billion, much higher than the approximately $5 billion reported earlier in March. Its CEO Prasanth Manghat was dismissed in Februrary amid financial discrepancies and Michael Davis succeeded him on an interim basis.
Calls for temporary standstill from creditors
Belhoul also called for patience and prudence from his creditors.
He has asked for a temporary standstill to debt repayments to allow the new management team to prepare and activate a recovery plan which would provide greater value for all parties.
NMC’s new executive chairman said that he would do all in his power to cooperate with authorities in the UAE and UK to recover misused funds and ensure those involved in any wrongdoing were prosecuted. “I recognise the position in which the NMC Group finds itself and, as executive chairman, I will be undertaking a review to strengthen governance and control structures and achieve operational stability for the NMC Group as quickly as possible,” said Belhoul.
“We are working in full cooperation and in close dialogue with authorities in the UAE and UK, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and will vigorously chase down the perpetrators for return of these funds,” he added.
(Reporting by Seban Scaria, editing by Daniel Luiz)
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