QIB (UK), a London-based subsidiary of Qatar Islamic Bank, has been appointed as financial adviser and arranger for SAH Qatar Proton, the first proton therapy cancer centre in the Middle East. Although a private sector initiative, it is expected that SAH Qatar Proton will be a major contributor to Qatar’s QR2.20bn ($605mn) National Cancer Strategy (QNCS) launched earlier this year. SAH Global was granted permission to build the first proton therapy centre in the Middle East in June of 2010 by the Supreme Council of Health. SAH Proton Qatar, which is expected to treat up to 2,200 patients a year, will also serve as a training and educational centre for physicians and therapists from around the world. The QNCS is a vital component of Qatar’s healthcare vision and SAH Qatar Proton will be an important step forward in the fight against cancer, not just in Qatar but throughout the Middle East, according to Mike Clark, CEO of QIB-UK. “This is the latest in a series of transactions where we are utilising our presence in London, the global financial centre, and combining our leading market position, heritage, and history in Qatar, to bring landmark projects to the market,” he said. “We are in discussions with governments and potential local partners throughout the GCC and Europe for our satellite centres and we envisage this to be a long-term relationship between SAH Global and our strategic partners, including QIB-UK,” Feroz Agad, chairman and CEO of SAH Global, said. In January 2010, SAH Global signed a landmark agreement with the Qatar National Cancer Society through which the latter will refer Qatari patients qualifying for proton therapy to SAH Global’s medical tourism arm, SAH Care. While the proton therapy centre in Doha is being completed, SAH Care arranges and co-ordinates end-to-end treatment at preferential rates through its network of partner centres around the world, a spokesman for SAH said. In this way, SAH Care is able to deliver significant cost savings and can reduce waiting times (which can otherwise exceed three months in many cases) to only a few weeks for patients throughout the Gulf region and beyond. It is expected that SAH Care’s quality of service will be further enhanced upon completion of SAH Qatar Proton.