Work to start on $81m cancer centre in Bahrain
Manama, August 19, 2014
Work on a BD31 million ($81.7 million) cancer care unit, the first of its kind in the region, will start this week at the King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) in Muharraq.
The state-of-the-art National Oncology Centre is expected to be completed by May 2016 and will help with the early detection tests and treatment of cancer among patients in Bahrain, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Planned to be a state-of-the-art facility boasting 120 beds, the centre will cover 57,000sqm, including underground parking, within the hospital's grounds.
KHUH chief executive Major General Dr Shaikh Salman bin Ateyatallah Al Khalifa said Mazen Alumran Consulting Engineers had been selected to draw up the blueprints, working alongside Hassell, a leading international design firm that has helped design oncology centres around the world.
“The National Oncology Centre is the first of its kind in the Gulf and work on this ambitious project starts this Thursday,” said Maj Gen Dr Shaikh Salman.
“Thirty-six national and international companies applied for the public tender, and we selected 19 of these.”
“The selected consultancy and construction companies were further filtered down until we finally selected Mazen Alumran Consulting Engineers to work on the project along with Hassell.”
Officials last month signed an agreement with civil engineering and construction contractors G P Zachariades Group to build the medical facility, which Maj Gen Dr Shaikh Salman said will also feature a 10-bed Bone Marrow Transplantation Centre to treat both adults and children, linked with King Faisal Scientific Research Centre in Saudi Arabia.
He further revealed that a new cyclotron - a type of particle accelerator that can be used to treat cancer by bombarding tumours with radiation - would be set up.
The cyclotron will also be able to produce the nuclear material used during positron emission tomography, a functional imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image to detect the spread of cancer.
“At present we import radioactive materials from the UAE for the treatment of cancer patients in Bahrain, but once we have our own cyclotron there is no need to import these materials and this will cut costs drastically,” he said.
Other specialised equipment at the centre will include the latest radiotherapy equipment, which can destroy malignant cancer cells with millimetre precision, alongside a research department within the facility featuring 20 experts who will contribute towards the worldwide search for a cure.
“This is a big project for Bahrain and we have co-operated with several local government agencies to make it a success, as the new oncology centre will provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment facilities,” said Maj Gen Dr Shaikh Salman.
“I would also like to state that Minister of State for Defence Affairs Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa is very keen on this project and is closely following its developments.”
Meanwhile, the KHUH also announced yesterday that there would be some disruption to the parking facilities available at the hospital when work starts on the new buildings.
Staff, patient and visitor parking has been moved to a new area within the hospital complex that can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles, with shuttle buses provided for transfers. - TradeArabia News Service