ABU DHABI // Shehbaz Ahmed, a Pakistani crane operator, urgently needed stitches on his left foot after stepping on a pane of glass that sliced through his shoe.
It used to be that to receive the best treatment, he would have had to travel from Musaffah into Abu Dhabi proper, because the former lacked a venue for advanced medical care.
But that has finally changed now that Lifeline Hospital Musaffah has received its licence. The facilities at the hospital allowed doctors to discover if Mr Ahmed has damaged any tendons, something that previously would have led to his being transferred to a bigger facility.
"It is very comfortable," said Mr Ahmed, 32, who was already making his second visit to the hospital.
When fully staffed, the hospital will be manned by 55 doctors and about 150 nurses when fully staffed, said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the managing director.
Dr Vayalil said the need for the hospital, which will cater for Musaffah's labourers and for families living in the Shabia area, had been high.
"We have started getting a big demand from the local community," he said.
The new facility will ease the pressure on nearby hospitals such as Mafraq Hospital and substantially decrease the waiting time for patients.
"In our smaller hospital, which is joined on to the new facility, we had no intensive care unit and no critical care available," Dr Vayalil said. "We stabilised patients and then sent them to other hospitals."
Now patients who suffer a severe trauma can be seen within the "golden hour", the time in which receiving medical attention greatly increases their chance of survival, he said.
The three-storey facility includes an intensive care unit (ICU), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facilities, an isolation room, a maternity ward, and a unit with four incubators and a CT scanner for sick babies and children.
A patient has been scheduled as the first to give birth in the maternity ward.
Previously, the lack of these types of services in the area had resulted in complications, Dr Vayalil said.
"Once, before this new facility had started treating people, a patient who was being transferred to a nearby hospital gave birth in the ambulance," he said.
The hospital is also planning to hire a psychiatrist, Dr Vayalil said.
It has 50 beds including four in the ICU and will provide a much-needed service to some of the 150,000 residents in the area.
"We used to have to go to the New Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi," said RK Navas, an Indian expatriate who lives in Shabia with his wife and child.
The service at the new facility is good and efficient, said Mr Navas, a technician whose wife is being treated for an infection.
Ida Rajabi, a senior nurse at the hospital, believes the community will benefit from the new facility.
"This is a comfortable place and it is very good," said the nurse, who moved to the UAE from India several years ago.
"All of the labourers have been coming here. If they have an accident, this is where they come and so it is very good for them."
Dr Vayalil said: "It took us two years to build this and now a patient's quality of life can be greatly improved when they come straight here." Another Lifeline hospital, in Mafraq, is due to open this year.