Heart doctors at a new hospital in Bahrain – the Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Cardiac Specialist Centre – are hoping to attract patients from across the Gulf.
The centre, which was funded by the UAE, will have 148 beds compared with just 60 at a previous clinic. It was inaugurated on Monday.
Child and adult patients will be treated in the specialist clinic, which houses surgical and cardiac facilities. It has an outpatient capacity of 14 rooms, more than double the old hospital's six.
The centre near Manama was financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development with a grant of Dh735 million, and will open shortly once its computer systems are operational.
"We are proud to have this centre that will be one of the largest in the Middle East," said Dr Leena Al Sulaibeekh, a consultant cardiologist.
“It will be an intelligent hospital and a centre for technology with the most modern equipment available.
“There is a big radiology department with the best scanners for MRI, with 3D echo-scanning machines.
“We had just one operating room in the old hospital, but this new building has two, and a third hybrid operating room.
“This will allow us to have surgery and cardiac catheterisation under way at the same time, which is quite unusual.”
The Abu Dhabi fund is financing several development projects in co-operation with Bahrain's government to stimulate growth in the country.
Bahrain was one of the first nations in which the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development began its work in 1974.
Since then, the aid agency has provided about Dh19.5 billion to finance 29 projects across several sectors, including housing, water, health and transport.
The new heart centre was built on an area of 53,000 square metres and is the keystone of several strategic projects involving Bahrain and the UAE.
Hospital chiefs hope to attract complicated cardiac cases from the region, because their respected consultants now have access to world-class facilities.
"Our cardiac centre is known for its reputation and we have been serving heart patients from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia for the last 20 years or so," Dr Al Sulaibeekh said.
“We would like to attract patients from across the region and all the Gulf countries.
“We are happy to serve them.”