x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

1,200 jobs as Abu Dhabi's largest private hospital plans Dh1bn expansion

Burjeel Hospital to almost double in size in a move that will provide plenty of career opportunities for Emiratis and expatriates alike when it opens its doors.

Artist's impression of the new Burjeel Hospital in Mohammed Bin Zayed City. Courtesy SMC
Artist's impression of the new Burjeel Hospital in Mohammed Bin Zayed City. Courtesy SMC

ABU DHABI // The largest private hospital in the capital is to open another branch nearly twice the size of the original in a Dh1 billion expansion.

The new Burjeel Hospital in the rapidly growing Mohammed Bin Zayed City will create about 1,200 jobs for medical staff, treating mainly long-stay patients.

It will cost about twice as much as the original 202-bed hospital, which at 56,000-square-metres is Abu Dhabi’s largest private hospital, cost an estimated Dh500 million to build and opened less than a year ago.

The hospital will have more than 90,000-sq-m of floor space, about the area of eight football pitches, and will be focused on providing “specialised and high-end long-term rehabilitation care for long-stay patients”, said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the owner and managing director.

Dr Vayalil, managing director of Lifeline Hospital Group, said the “unique” facility would ease the burden on other hospitals that have long-stay patients.

“It is going to be a valuable addition to health care in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“The population is getting more aged and a lot of patients are on long stay in the hospitals. There are patients right now that are in the bed for more than two years.

“As the population grows, there is going to be a growing demand.”

The new branch will complement the hospital in the heart of Abu Dhabi, he said. “It will be a different entity. The requirement of long-term stay is entirely different from regular patients. They need a more personalised service.”

The new hospital will also offer oncology, medical, surgery, neurology and paediatric suites and a training centre.

It will provide jobs for more than 150 doctors, 450 nurses and 600 other staff, as well as employment in logistics, IT, consulting and the building’s construction, Dr Vayalil said.

While Emiratis will be given priority, there will be plenty of career opportunities for expatriates, he said.

The project is at the design stage and has gained initial approval for the concept. Dr Vayalil said that “we will be able to break the ground” in about six months, with the first stage of the hospital to open two years after that. The final project will open a further 12 months later.

Despite being about twice the size of the original, the new branch will have only 250 beds, with some scope for expansion. This is to provide more space for leisure and entertainment facilities, said Dr Vayalil.

“The aim is to provide an atmosphere more like a hotel or a home than a hospital,” he said.

Staff will have more time to spend with patients and family rooms will provide a welcoming space for relatives. The “more personalised service” will bring comfort to patients who face a long spell in a hospital bed, the doctor said.

The project is one Dr Vayalil said is unique. “It is looking to the future and anticipating the rising need for more long-term-stay patients,” he said.

The location, about 10 minutes’ drive from the airport, has also been carefully considered, as Burjeel looks to treat not only local but international long-stay patients.

jbell@thenational.ae