AL AIN // A new intensive-care hospital aims to provide a home from home for seriously ill Emirati patients who have been cared for overseas.
The 50-bed centre in Al Ain's Al Foaa district will provide long-term care for patients reliant on ventilators, including those born with degenerative disorders or congenital diseases.
The hospital will also care for the victims of accidents, such as car crashes, who will never completely recover from their injuries.
Several patients have already moved in, said Andrew Escamilla, chief executive of ProVita, which runs the unit and a 36-bed hospital in Abu Dhabi.
They include an Emirati car-crash victim who has been in hospital for more than three years, and several children with genetic abnormalities.
Many of the patients, Mr Escamilla said, had been receiving specialist care abroad.
"What is great about opening this new Al Ain facility is that we are offering many a chance to return back home and be closer to their loved ones," he said.
"For their families it is also important they are part of the local community," Mr Escamilla said.
"While we might never be able to free them of their ventilator, we can provide a better quality of life."
The centre has 40 intensive-care unit bedrooms and 10 long-stay bedrooms and will ease the chronic shortage of intensive-care beds across the country.
It also has family rooms, relaxation rooms, sensory rooms, play areas and an outdoor activity zone with the aim of providing an environment that feels like home for its patients and their loved ones, Mr Escamilla said.
Visitors can be there at any time and family members can spend the night.
"Our facilities in Abu Dhabi and now Al Ain provide exceptional care and rehabilitative services to ventilator-dependent residents who either have been treated within intensive-care units of hospitals before or even had to go abroad to get the care they needed," Mr Escamilla said.
More than 70 nurses have been hired to work at the hospital. It will employ more than 140 medical professionals when it reaches full capacity.
* A photograph previously used to illustrate ‘Long-term care at new hospital in Al Ain’ was of the new Al Ain Hospital, an Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) project, rather than the new ProVita intensive-care hospital in Al Foah district. The National regrets the error.