"This project was incredibly challenging for all stakeholders. Within the limited timeframe of 12 months we all had to work closely together, especially to coordinate the medical requirements of more than 28 nations and, of course, the build-up and operation of the hospital together with Iqarus, the selected contractor, and the sponsor-nation Luxembourg. This was an exceptional team effort to deliver key services which are critical to successful KFOR operations." NSPA.

Background

NATO recognised a gap in its capabilities and needed a partner to wrap an envelope of medical care around its operations and mission in Pristina, Kosovo; specifically, for over 5,000 NATO-KFOR deployed staff. For the first time in the organisation’s history, NATO, through NSPA, launched a competitive bid process among private enterprises to deliver a greenfield, role two basic (R2B) medical health facility.

The brief included scope and design, construction, equipping and staffing of the facility, and included on-going facility management. As the successful bidder, Iqarus was awarded a contract to provide a range of healthcare solutions including surgical capabilities and medical support services.

Challenges

The complexity of the project required the delivery of an end-to-end solution for NATO-KFOR. It necessitated detailed pre- mobilisation plans, an understanding of the client approval process, complex matrices of operational deliverables, and the physical build and mobilisation of the facility within a tight, two-month timeframe.

The contract was awarded, and had a fixed, 'go-live' date of the first of January 2018. The project began during notoriously bad weather, and there were concerns that that this would lead to project delays, potentially affecting the contractual time and deliverables for build and mobilisation. It was essential to operate within NATO’s governance and compliance framework, and to meet Kosovo government regulations.

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In this context, the logistics of procuring equipment, attracting, recruiting and hiring surgical teams - and other skilled staff - from a pre-determined pool of nationalities, added a layer of complexity.

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Solutions

Iqarus leveraged its extensive knowledge and experience of delivering healthcare solutions in complex and demanding environments to deliver an entire hospital from the ground up. The team equipped the medical facility, recruited a multidisciplinary medical team that included, among others, trauma and general surgeons from Italy and Bulgaria, an anaesthetist from Greece, ER and ICU nurses from France, Spain, Portugal and Sweden, and Kosovo nationals for medical support services.

Iqarus teamed up with a number of strategic partners including Euroing (provider of design, engineering and construction solutions), as well as highly-qualified and experienced local resources. This partnership approach enabled Iqarus to mobilise the facility and deliver the project by the first of January 2018. Iqarus’s deep knowledge of medical compliance and governance structures, together with its approach to liaising with local authorities and government bodies, were key enablers and ultimately ensured the timely build and mobilisation of the facility.

Outcome

Iqarus fulfilled the contractual requirements of NATO, NSPA and KFOR, and exceeded expectations. Together with its strategic partners, Iqarus delivered an exceptionally high standard role two basic (R2B) medical health facility within two months, on time and on budget.

The hospital’s healthcare facilities include an emergency room, operating theatre, intensive care units, high- dependency units, wards, ambulance services and associated medical support services. NATO is now able to provide surgical capabilities and associated medical support services to over 5,000 NATO staff on deployed operations. This enables NATO to fulfil its duty of care, thus ensuring a safe and healthy workforce, which is critical to ensuring the success of NATO’s local missions.

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The Pristina medical treatment facility is fully compliant with NATO medical standards and local Kosovo governance standards. Iqarus will continue to operate the medical treatment facility for the next three years, providing continued facility management, training support, medics, and overall clinical governance.

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