Oman's health ministry has unveiled plans to build a OR570m ($1.48bn) medical complex and said it will invite bids this year to manage construction, Reuters has reported. The government-funded project will cover 5 million sq m and include residential space and shopping malls as well as hospitals. Oman had built its last major hospital 20 years ago and a growing population is stretching the Gulf state's health care. The population is expanding at 4% a year; the latest official census shows there are 3.2 million people in the sultanate, of which 1.3 million are foreign workers. "The project is part of our health care system to cater for future demand in this rapid expanding area," said Ahmed Al Qasmi, director general for planning at the ministry.