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New Bahrain hospital to open on Dec 1

Manama, November 13, 2011

A major new hospital in Bahrain will be ready to receive patients within weeks. The King Hamad University Hospital in Muharraq will open on December 1.

Work is now in full swing to furnish and equip the 311-bed facility after a BD7 million ($18.6 million) overhaul, said hospital chief executive officer Brigadier Dr Shaikh Salman bin Atteytalla Al Khalifa.

It had been necessary after serious flaws and shoddy workmanship were discovered in the original plans. This also led to the delay in the completion of the project, originally slated to be up and running in 2008.

The faults were discovered once the hospital had been handed over to BDF Hospital by the Works Ministry, which meant the overhaul was needed before it could become operational.

'Two wards of 28 beds each, out patient department, X-ray facilities and the laboratory will be up and running with more facilities to become functional in the coming weeks and months,' Dr Shaikh Salman said.

'By the time we have a formal opening on Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Day on February 5, we hope most of the services, including the Accident and Emergency department, will be up and running.'

He said work on equipping five health centres in the Muharraq area with state-of-the-art computers and connecting them to the hospital was also expected to be completed in the coming days after which staff will be trained on the referral system they will be expected to follow.

'Before the opening, we will have a mock patient inflow on November 25 and a full-fledged fire and evacuation drill two days later,' he said.

Dr Shaikh Salman said 30 per cent of the doctors and 80 percent of the nurses at the hospital had already been recruited.

'Most doctors are non-Bahrainis, but we will have more Bahrainis as they become available in the time to come,' he said.

The senior official said Bahraini company Neo-Design had carried out the interior re-designing of the hospital.

He revealed that everything, from toilets and washrooms to closets and electrical wiring, had to be re-designed. 'Five lifts also had to be installed for which new provisions had to be created.'

Brig Dr Shaikh Salman said when the hospital was handed over the waiting areas were cramped, the toilets tiny and as many as 23 departments deemed unfit for use by specialist doctors.

'Around 95 percent of the problems have been fixed and the rest are being worked on now,' he said.

The Australian Hospital design Group, which initially designed the hospital, reportedly failed to take into consideration the fact that Bahrain had specific requirements that needed to be incorporated into the design.

Brig Dr Shaikh Salman said the toilets were unfit for severely obese people, while waiting rooms were inadequate to accommodate the large number of people who normally accompany patients to hospital.

He explained the false ceilings leaked when it rained, the back-up generator system did not switch on automatically in the event of a power failure and there was no large storage facility for medicines and equipment.

The hospital's entire electrical wiring and electrical fittings were also found to be faulty and the quality of workmanship was inadequate.

Work on the hospital started in April 2006 and was expected to be completed within two years. A parliamentary investigation committee has also been set up to investigate alleged corruption in the awarding of tenders and contracts. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Construction | Hospital | muharraq | patient |

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