Early next year, Abu Dhabi’s healthcare landscape will see the addition of another new facility. And setting itself apart from other hospitals in the UAE, the Burjeel Medical City will offer advanced oncological care and bone marrow transplants.
The 1.2-million-square-feet hospital (about 111,400 square metres) in Mohammed Bin Zayed City comprises of four towers and an administrative building. It is set to open up before summer 2021, confirmed Dr. Shamsheer Vyalil, Chairman and Managing Director at VPS Healthcare, the hospital’s parent company.
But even before it began formally receiving patients, the hospital made an imprint in Abu Dhabi’s healthcare journey. Faced with the COVID-19 outbreak, officials stepped forward this year to rapidly convert a whole tower for the treatment of patients.
“Everyone hit the ground running — the nursing team, the cleaners, the physicians. We converted rooms in the tower to negative pressure isolation rooms [which prevent contaminated air from patient rooms mixing with fresh air outside]. We added patient monitors, increased the fresh air in corridors, and increased [air] extraction capacity in inpatient rooms by adding fans,” Dr. Vayalil informed.
There are no more COVID-19 patients at the facility any more, but the experience highlighted the vital role BMC will play once it is fully open. VPS, which sees 13,000 outpatients per day in its facilities in UAE and Oman, hopes the 400-bed quaternary hospital will stop the ‘leak’, from its network, of patients needing advanced care.
The facility hopes to start off by providing advanced cancer care, including palliative services, immunotherapy and stem cell treatments. It has also sourced advanced machines for radiation therapy, including the latest linear accelerators that reduce the duration of radiotherapy to just five days, compared to a month using older machines. According to Dr. Sadir Alrawi, General Surgery Consultant, 30% of all cancer patients require radiotherapy.
In addition, the hospital will also operate as a certified transplant facility. A pair of connected operating rooms has been especially built so that doctors can operate on both the organ donor and recipient in proximity.
“Once everything is set up, we will become the only facility offering bone marrow transplants in the UAE, hopefully well before summer 2021. In fact, we already have multiple candidates who are waiting for the procedure,” Dr. Alrawi said.
The hospital has multiple operating rooms, including one with that will have an advanced robotic surgical system. Another is particularly unique because it has an MRI machine that can scan a patient during or soon after a procedure in order to fine-tune their interventions.
“For many neurological or trauma cases, patients require MRIs during the procedure. In such a scenario, the patient usually has to be transferred to the MRI, scanned, and brought back to the operating room. At this hospital, the MRI-implanted operating room [will make this process much easier], and we believe this is the first such operation theatre within the UAE,” said Dr. Nabil Debouni, Group Medical Director at VPS.
Supporting treatment and patients care, Burjeel Medical City will also have a full-scale medical laboratory that can perform 10 million test annually. “The molecular lab, which was assembled at record speed at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, still performs 5,000-7,000 PCR tests per day. Spanning 420 square metres, it was the first section of the lab to begin operations,” said Mayur Sabhani, VPS’ General Director of Laboratory Services.
Other kinds of tests will also soon become available, including those in histopathology, chemistry, immunoassay, allergy profiling, and microbiology. “When the lab is fully operational, it will be able to carry out 550 different tests. These are currently already available across the VPS network, but they will all be consolidated at the new facility,” Sabhani added.
Source: Gulf News