ABU DHABI // Residents of Khalifa City are eagerly awaiting the opening of a 250-bed hospital that will create 800 jobs by the end of the year.
The US$200 million (Dh734.6m) NMC Royal Hospital will specialise in 25 fields and will be a first for the area, on the outskirts of the capital.
“According to the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, the city is planning to grow outwards and the centre of gravity may move towards Khalifa City, due to its proximity to the international airport and by virtue of it being one of the largest residential areas of Abu Dhabi. With this in mind, the facility will be in close proximity to where the patients reside,” said Dr B R Shetty, chief executive of NMC Healthcare.
Barry Bedford, the hospital’s general manager, said: “When we started work on the hospital, we asked ourselves why Khalifa City and who is living in this area? The majority of the people here are Emiratis. By putting this hospital in the middle of this area, we are addressing a huge need of the Emiratis in the community. They are likely to be our biggest clientele.”
Fatima Al Zaabi, a Khalifa City housewife, said her family usually goes to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, which is a 25-minute drive.
“We are forced to go to the city and it takes a long time,” said Mrs Al Zaabi. “Sometimes we’re concerned that we won’t reach the hospital on time.
“We’re looking forward to the opening of the NMC Royal Hospital in Khalifa City. It will make a difference in my life and my family’s by providing us with a greater sense of security and we’re lucky because it’s located very close to our house.”
The 50-year-old Emirati believes there is a need for a hospital that offers special services for locals because the population is on the rise.
Khawla Al Mamary, another Emirati who lives in Khalifa City, said having a large hospital in the area was “a necessity”.
“A large, specialised hospital will greatly benefit the area, especially when it comes to different kinds of emergencies,” said the 48-year-old nursery teacher.
The hospital has been under construction since 2012, when the plan was approved, and it is in the testing phase, with equipment moving in.
Mr Bedford said the hospital will offer basic as well as upmarket care, though it will cater mostly to high-end insurance cards.
He said the challenge was to find “the balance between affordability of healthcare, quality of care and service that the patients will receive”.
The 800-staff facility spans more than 75,000 square metres – the equivalent of 14 football pitches – and will have more than 100 out-patient clinics. Most of the out-patient clinics will be open in the first phase and the rest in the next phase, which will be early next year.
Cardiology, vascular surgery, gastroenterology, bariatric surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, nephrology, endocrinology, paediatrics, psychiatry, gynaecology and obstetrics are some of the medical fields covered by the hospital.
Mr Bedford said doctors from the United States and Europe will be on staff. “We are trying to get Arabic-speaking doctors as well so we have a balance,” he said.
There are five royal suites, which comprise a royal suite patient room, a majlis and attendant room, and a VIP unit is also available.
Officials at the facility are hopeful that it will not only serve residents of Abu Dhabi but the wider UAE and even neighbouring countries.
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(via The National)