x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

RAK's flagship hospital will meet medical needs head on

Progress UAE: The 248-bed Sheikh Khalifa Specialised Hospital in RAK is set to open in December.

RAK business owner Asif Ali is keen for the opening of Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital.  Lee Hoagland / The National
RAK business owner Asif Ali is keen for the opening of Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital. Lee Hoagland / The National

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Standing at six-storeys high and spread over 65,000 square metres, the emirate's new Dh1 billion flagship hospital is a modern anomaly on a dusty skyline.

Funded with a grant by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to meet the medical needs of the Northern Emirates, the 248-bed Sheikh Khalifa Specialised Hospital in RAK is set to open in December and is one of a number of projects that aims to shape the emirate over the next decade.

Work began on the mega site, which stands amid sand dunes near RAK airport, in May 2009 and it is now almost complete.

The hospital, which is set to focus on cancer and heart treatment, is considered to be the largest specialised hospital in the Middle East.

The state-of-the-art facility will have departments in cardiology, diagnostics, radiology, heart disease, laparoscopy, a burns unit, an ICU unit for heart diseases, an emergency department and a department of cancerous diseases, among others.

While its six floors will initially accommodates 248 beds, this figure will eventually increase to 400. It also has service facilities, two helicopter landing pads and 640 parking spots.

Mary Al Majar Al Nuaimi, director of government communications at the Ministry of Public Works, described the project as "the highest global standards of quality".

In RAK, Has Asifali, 37, from Pakistan, sits among his friends near the barber shop he owns and works in.

As a resident in the emirate, he welcomed the news of the Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital.

"I will go when it opens," he said, adding that he would like the emirate to grow and attract more visitors.

Emirati Ali Mohammed, a 23-year-old RAK resident, is also glad of the investment into the emirate.

"I want it (RAK) to be bigger. Like Abu Dhabi or Dubai," he said.

His brother, 25-year-old Rashid Al Mazouri, lives in Abu Dhabi and said RAK would definitely benefit from the new Sheikh Khalifa Specialist Hospital.

It is the second healthcare facility to be established under Mopa, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, following the construction of Sheikh Khalifa General Hospital in Umm Al Quwain, which completed last year.

As work on new hospitals are completed, older facilities are also being upgraded in a bid to reduce the gap between the availability of medical treatment in the major UAE cities and areas that are more rural.

Last year, Saqr Hospital in RAK was granted Dh60 million for expansion and development by the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

jbell@thenational.ae