x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

German standard of health care coming soon to Abu Dhabi

A 100-bed multi-speciality hospital staffed by German doctors and nurses is to be built in Khalifa City by 2010.

ABU DHABI // A 100-bed multi-speciality hospital staffed by German doctors and nurses is to be built in Khalifa City and is expected to be finished by the end of 2010. Its operator, German General Hospital, has also built a medical centre in Al Rowdah and brought in 80 per cent of its staff from Germany and Western Europe. Markus Eulig, chief financial officer of the group, estimates that about 100,000 people travel from the UAE each year to receive medical treatment in Germany. "For the first time in the region, qualified German health care run by a team of medical experts from Germany will be available to the UAE and GCC residents," he said.

The hospital in Khalifa City A will provide a service for those who feel an "affinity for German medical care" so they do not have to travel overseas, he added. The US$50 million (Dh184m) facility will focus on three main areas: cardiological illnesses, orthopaedic illnesses and vascular diseases. Mr Eulig said the hospital would not be specialising too much at first as data would have to be collected on what services are needed.

The Al Rowdah medical centre, which is scheduled to open next month, will include four major disciplines: internal medicine, paediatrics, radiology and orthopaedics. Both facilities are being funded by Shedlin Middle East Health Care 1, which is regulated by the German financial authorities. The design and planning for both the medical centre and general hospital have also been carried out by German architects, Woernerundpartner, who specialise in hospital and health-care projects.

Mr Eulig said the hospital would be training local staff to have a greater input in its running as it develops. "Abu Dhabi has to invest in local things and bring people like us who are willing to transfer knowledge. We will always be overstaffed by five to 10 per cent so we have enough space and money to train these people." The hospital and clinic will be operated by Klinikum Offenbach, whose main hospital in Germany has around 1,000 beds and treats 33,500 patients each year.

The project's UAE partner, Abdulla Abdul al Fahim, said the team did not want to close the market to Germany but simply give people in the UAE, and further afield, the option to receive treatment closer to home. "If people prefer to receive German treatment and be cared for in the same way as they would be in Germany, they will be able to do that here," he said. "The know-how is perfect over there."

Jade Anderson, a resident of Khalifa A, was very happy to hear about the new hospital and hoped it would operate a 24-hour emergency centre. Mrs Anderson, a financial regulator, has three children aged four, six and eight and says her family currently needs to travel out of Khalifa City to receive emergency care. "Any parent with small children wants to make sure that if there is something wrong there is somewhere to take them quickly," she said. "I am very happy to have a hospital nearby."

munderwood@thenational.ae