Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 July 2019

UAE hospital reopened by health authorities after it was closed for violations

Universal Hospital in Abu Dhabi reopens after taking action to meet health standards

Universal Hospital's pharmacy. Silvia Razgova / The National
Universal Hospital's pharmacy. Silvia Razgova / The National

An Abu Dhabi hospital that was shut down by health authorities for a series of violations has been reopened.

Universal Hospital was initially found to have breached regulations, said the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi.

The facility in the Mushrif area was told to close on Thursday for one month, with patients discharged or transferred to other clinics.

It was allowed to reopen on Sunday after taking action to meet standards and satisfy health chiefs.

"Department of Health, Abu Dhabi [Haad], the management health care authority in the emirate, ordered the closure Abu Dhabi Universal Hospital, emphasising that patients’ health and safety, and excellent quality of medical care are their top priority," a statement read.

We agree that there has been an audit and there were some variances. We believe in the standards of this country and our hope is to open as soon as possible

Dr Shabeer Nellikode, founder of Universal Hospital

The authority did not publicly state what inspectors had found, but said closure came as a result of an audit that all hospitals in Abu Dhabi are undergoing.

"The results from the audit indicated that there were several violations in Universal Hospital which necessitated full and temporary closure for one month" Haad said.

On Sunday, the department said it was satisfied the violations had been rectified and it allowed the facility to reopen.

"DoH, alongside the hospital management, have since identified and taken all necessary corrective measures to ensure that the facility meets the necessary standards and can continue to provide the best health services to its patients," a statement read.

"The hospital provided assurances to the department, strongly reaffirming its commitment to avoid future violations and adhere to the recommendations set by DoH’s audit team."

Universal Hospital is a large 300-plus bed healthcare centre based on 37 floors over two towers in central Abu Dhabi. Its accident and emergency ward is among 18 departments.

Hospital managers initially posted a statement on social media to say it was carrying out maintenance works.

When contacted by The National, Dr Shabeer Nellikode, the hospital's founder and managing director, said he met with health officials on Sunday to discuss the case.

"We agree that there has been an audit and there were some variances,” he said.

Dr Nellikode said he was frustrated that unproven claims about the hospital and the names of staff that were allegedly unlicensed had been circulated on WhatsApp and social media.

He strongly denied what was said on social media and said he may take legal action in response.

Updated: May 6, 2019 12:11 PM

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