All photos courtesy of Ashghal
A handful of new hospitals within the under-construction Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City must be finished and fully equipped by the middle of this year, the Prime Minister has said following a recent visit to the site.
The new, QR2.4 billion medical complex will feature a Women’s Hospital, Ambulatory & Minimally Invasive Surgical Hospital and a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as a scientific center for medical research and a bio-bank.
The project also includes construction of additional operating rooms for Hamad Medical Corp (HMC), which would increase capacity of the existing Hamad General Hospital’s surgical department.
The dedicated building is on a site between the Women’s Hospital and HGH’s emergency department and its facilities would include 20 new operating theaters.
Led by Korean-based Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, the project was due to be complete by the end of 2014, according to the public works authority, but has suffered delays.
In a statement, Ashghal said construction on the 227,000 square meter site in Rumaila was now more than 80 percent complete since work started in February 2011, adding:
“H.E. the Prime Minister has stressed the importance of completing the three hospitals projects and the ‘Additional Operation Rooms Building’ project as soon as possible, to be ready for operation with their full equipment in the middle of the current year.”
The new, 243-bed Women’s Hospital is expected to include seven operating theaters with four rooms for Caesarean procedures, and three rooms specializing in gynecology obstetrics. There will be 21 delivery rooms and an outpatient clinic, The outpatient clinic with 60 examination rooms.
The building will also include special facilities for emergency Cesarean operations, evaluation, ultrasound, treatment rooms and rooms for emergency deliveries.
According to Ashghal, the new hospital will have the facilities to look after 8,000 babies a year and will replace the current Women’s Hospital, where 17,000 babies are born each year.
When asked about the numbers, HMC said in a statement to Doha News said that “maternity services will be provided by HMC at our new Women’s Hospital, and across our country-wide network of general hospitals, as well as by Sidra and the private sector”.
When it opens, the much-delayed Sidra Medical and Research Center, which has been billed as “an ultramodern academic medical center,” will focus on the care of women and children.
It was originally scheduled to be open in 2011, then by the end of 2012. A mid-2015 date was given last year, before Qatar Foundation fired its contractors.
Facilities at the new Ambulatory and Minimally Invasive Surgical Hospital will include 130 short-stay beds, a suite for radiology, examination, and treatment rooms.
Its 14 operating theaters will include:
- Seven for general surgery;
- One for urology;
- One for ear, nose and throat (ENT) operations;
- Two rooms for orthopedic surgery;
- Two rooms for ophthalmology surgery; and
- One room for maxillofacial surgery.
Meanwhile, the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital will have an advanced adult hydrotherapy suite and outpatient clinics for occupational therapy, organ transplantation and physiotherapy.
When they open, the new facilities should help alleviate the pressure on Qatar’s healthcare infrastructure, which has been struggling as the nation undergoes a massive population boom.
The project is one of a number of new facilities planned by HMC and the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) in the coming years to expand medical and health provisions in the country.
HGH’s under-pressure Emergency Department is set for expansion, with two new units to be added to the hospital, and additional plans are under consideration to turn the section into the world’s largest ER.
In November last year, a senior emergency department consultant said that new sections will include a critical care nephrology unit, for patients suffering from serious kidney-related problems, and another general surgery unit.
A new, HMC communicable diseases hospital is also under construction and is set to open this year.
According to the SCH’s 2012 Annual Report, 11 new hospitals and medical research facilities are expected to be built in Qatar by 2022:
These include three hospitals dedicated to male laborers – in Mesaieed, Ras Laffan and Doha’s industrial area – which specialize in trauma and injury, occupational health and physiotherapy.
A mass-casualty trauma hospital is also planned as part of a new “medical city” to be built on a site in Duhail, next to Qatar University. The 1,100 bed hospital is slated for completion in 2022.
Plans are also afoot to build a neuroscience institute and a new cancer hospital.
Meanwhile, Ashghal has pushed back its deadline to open the Translational Research Institute within the new Hamad bin Khalifa Medical City.
The project is now expected to be finished by the end of 2017, instead of this year.
The institute will be an HMC facility for clinical research in the fields of cancer, trauma, infectious diseases, neuroscience, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and women’s and children’s health.
At the bio-bank, which is an initiative of Qatar Foundation, sponsored by the SCH in collaboration with Imperial College of London, scientists and doctors will be able to collect samples to research and get a better understanding of the causes of the most prevalent genetic diseases in Qatar, which will help in the quest to develop more appropriate treatments.