Hospital investment sees Northern Ireland private health firm add 20 jobs
Northern Ireland's biggest private healthcare company 3fivetwo Group will today announce 20 new jobs in a £3m investment.
The company is building the region's first private cardiac assessment and imaging centre at its existing Kingsbridge hospital on Lisburn Road, costing over £2.5m.
And the firm, established around 10 years ago, is opening a training academy at Boucher Road in Belfast, costing £350,000.
Business development manager Mark Regan said: "As waiting lists have grown, so has demand for our services. With government budget cuts set to bite even deeper, we expect demand to increase into 2016 and beyond."
He said that private, paid-for treatment was "a good investment" as it got people back to work and improved quality of life sooner "rather than much later".
He added: "In the last three years, we have grown our business to deliver a multi-million pound turnover which currently employs 240 people and utilises the services of 400 consultants and 300 nursing staff on a regular basis."
The company has three facilities in south Belfast, including cosmetic surgery, dental and fertility businesses. It also operates the Chelsea Private Clinic on King's Road, London.
The newly-extended hospital will carry out CT and MRI scans as well as cardiac investigations such as ECG treadmills, echocardiography and remote ECG assessments under the one roof.
Mr Regan said: "Until now, local patients have either faced delays while waiting for a private slot in local NHS facilities or have had to travel to the Republic or Great Britain for treatment.
"The centre will offer local patients more choice by allowing us to compete more effectively with Dublin-based hospitals, which are currently the only sites on the island capable of delivering this service on a fully private basis.
"It will also increase our ability to attract patients from the Republic and beyond - in recent years, we have seen medical tourists from as far afield as Libya."
Earlier this year 3fivetwo Group won the Excellence in Marketing award in the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.
In the year ending March 2014, 3fivetwo Medical Limited's turnover was up to £40.37m, up from £33.2m, while pre-tax profits were steady at around £1.68m. The company also provides services to the insured and NHS markets.
In August last year, the group said it was consulting with staff to negotiate up to 50 redundancies, which it said were "a direct result of the halting of public sector contracts arising from widespread cuts in the waiting list initiative".