Al Wakra Hospital, which is expected to serve as a community and general hospital for residents in Al Wakrah, Doha International Airport area as well as the population living in the south of the country up to the border with Saudi Arabia, was yesterday officially opened by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
The launch of the 210-bed facility, which has a flexible capacity of a further 50 beds as well as some 96 critical care and observation beds, brings to eight the number of hospitals under the Hamad Medical Corporation.
It is being envisaged that the six-storey facility with a staff of nearly 3,000 at full capacity, including more than 200 doctors, will further reduce pressure on the Hamad General Hospital, which is presently busting at the seams due to increasing population in Qatar.
With effect from yesterday, the hospital has started offering the following specialties: Emergency Medicine (ED and See and Treat), general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, ears, nose and throat (ENT), ophthalmology , urology, dental, maxillofacial, general medicine (endocrine and gastro intestinal), nephrology (including renal dialysis), cardiology, obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatric medicine.
“We have employed presently almost 2,000 staff including some 200 doctors and about 600 nurses. By mid-2013, we expect to have reached the target of having up to 3,000 employees,” Al Wakra Hospital executive director Johannes Kedzierski said at a press conference yesterday.
Al Wakra Hospital, occupying around an area of 130,000sq m, also houses a “See and Treat” unit for workers, which will relieve pressure on emergency departments at the hospital and Hamad General Hospital.
It has emergency departments for adults, children and maternity and the diagnostic imaging department, equipped with MRI and CT scanners.
The operating theatres and the ICUs are equipped with world-class technology and equipment. Operating room one is fully integrated and operations can be broadcast to anywhere in the world, if needed for teaching, education or specialist input from overseas experts.
The hospital’s laboratory is equipped to run a wide range of tests and has a state-of-the-art, fully automated blood analyser with capacity to process thousands of samples every hour and make testing much faster and safer.
“We are the first hospital in Qatar to have the sample tracking system, which will track specimen collected from patients and ensure that results do not mingle,” Kedzierski said.
To the number of patients expected daily, he said: “Presently, we have restrictions on the number of patients we see daily. In the in-patients department, we will only be able to cope with some 200 patients daily and in out-patients, we also have limited waiting time,” he said.
The official clarified that the hospital did not have the capacity to treat patients with very complex medical health problem but will rather refer patients to HGH for comprehensive tertiary care.
“If we see patients that require complex surgery or treatment, we will have to refer them to the HGH because we are a general hospital and we have already had an agreement with the Ambulatory Services to help us identify patients suitable to our services,” he said.
Kedzierski also said that the hospital would soon begin the fixed appointment system, but in the mean time accept patients on referrals from health centres in Airport, Wakrah and Um Ghwalina.
“This does not mean that we will not attend to walk-in patients if need be, because we won’t be turning patients away,” he added.
The waiting time for any regular patient will be between 10 days and two weeks, for urgent cases is less than one week while emergency service is immediate, he said.
Speaking about the opening of the new hospital, HMC managing director Dr Hanan al-Kuwari said: “This is a very significant milestone for Qatar and a special day for the community of Al Wakrah. This is a hospital that has been designed, built and staffed with the changing needs and expectations of the growing community it serves at the centre of its operation. Al Wakra Hospital will provide comprehensive, high quality healthcare to people of all ages, from emergency care, to general medicine and surgery and highly specialised treatments.
“HMC is expanding its scope and capacity year on year as we work to deliver healthcare that is responsive to the growing needs of the people of Qatar.”
Dr Nasser Al Ansari, Medical Director, Al Wakra Hospital said the facilities and services provided by the hospital would make it a model for others in the region.
“Those living and working in Al Wakra will, in many cases, no longer need to travel to Doha for diagnosis and treatment. Al Wakra Hospital has not only been designed to meet most of the present needs of the communities it serves, but has also the potential to expand in the future and introduce a wider range of more specialized services.”
Also present at the press conference yesterday was the hospital’s Implementation and Innovation director Ali Hassan Rasheed.