UAE floating hospital sets sail to treat Gaza patients

Ship with 100 beds on board will provide key support to enclave's under-pressure health system

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A 100-bed floating hospital has set sail from the UAE to provide crucial medical support to Palestinian patients affected by the Israel-Gaza war.

The repurposed vessel – which has 100 medical and administrative staff on board – will be docked off the coast of the Egyptian city of Al Arish to support relief efforts for Gaza.

The hospital has operating rooms, intensive care facilities, a laboratory, a pharmacy and medical warehouses.

The vast ship, which sailed from Khalifa Port, also boasts an evacuation plane and boat and fully equipped ambulances to transport patients.

It has been established in partnership with Abu Dhabi Department of Health and the Abu Dhabi Ports Group.

Its healthcare team have a range of specialities, including anaesthesia, general surgery, orthopaedics, nursing and emergency care.

The delivery of the hospital is part of the UAE's continuing humanitarian campaign – known as Gallant Knight 3 – ordered by President Sheikh Mohamed and aimed at providing a vital lifeline to the people of Gaza.

In December, the UAE established a field hospital in the Gaza Strip to help ease the significant pressure placed on Gaza's health service by a conflict now in its fifth month.

More than 3,500 patients have been treated at the 150-bed hospital, which is used for general surgery and orthopaedics, and offers anaesthetic services and intensive care for children and adults.

It also offers internal medicine, dentistry, family medicine and psychiatric treatment.

It is being operated with the support of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and the Emirates Red Crescent.

UAE delivers support

The UAE has offered essential financial and humanitarian assistance since the war broke out on October 7.

On Saturday, the UAE sent a ship to Gaza carrying aid, including 4,500 tonnes of food, medicine, shelter materials and essentials for women and children.

The UAE President on Saturday ordered $5 million in financial aid to support humanitarian efforts to reconstruct Gaza, which has been heavily damaged by the war.

Sheikh Mohamed had previously pledged to provide treatment for 1,000 wounded Palestinian children and 1,000 cancer patients from the Gaza Strip in UAE hospitals.

Dozens more wounded Palestinian children and cancer patients arrived in the UAE for treatment on Wednesday.

The group of 86 patients – accompanied by family members – were evacuated from Gaza and transported to the Emirates from Al Arish Airport in Egypt.

They landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport and were taken to hospital.

It is the 10th group of Gazans to arrive in the Emirates for medical treatment under Gallant Knight 3.

Updated: February 08, 2024, 1:23 PM