Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi to call on private-sector hospital staff to boost numbers

Doctors and nurses could be sent to any healthcare centre in the fight against Covid-19

Doctors and nurses from private hospitals across Abu Dhabi could be drafted in to treat patients during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Department of Health said a provisional plan would free medics to be sent where they were needed most.

A joint database will allow the government to check the number of free beds and medical staff available in the emirate on any given day.

It would also help to track patients housed in hotels and determine how many places were available. Hotels across the country have been used as quarantine centres, allowing patients with mild symptoms, along with repatriated residents, to recover in isolation.

Matar Al Nuaimi, director of emergency and disaster management, said: “We continue to work alongside healthcare facilities in the emirate to take the reins to fight against Covid-19.”

Major private-sector providers said they were preparing staff to support the effort.

Dr Madhu Sasidhar, chief medical officer at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s critical care institute, said it was ready to “join forces and resources to address emergency situations”.

“The new features enable us to continually assess gaps, support each other and share best practices to provide the best care for patients and the community,” he said.

The positive response was echoed by Dr Nabil Debouni, medical director for VPS Healthcare.

“It is a very good initiative in which the department of health created a live platform for healthcare providers,” he said.

Each company has been given a username and password.

“Health facilities will enter their data twice a day. The beauty of it is that at any moment, health providers can check bed status across all Abu Dhabi hospitals,” Dr Debouni said.

Since the start of the UAE outbreak in early February, the authorities have enlisted private healthcare groups such as NMC, Aster, VPS and Medeor to test residents and treat patients across the country.

This includes the testing of about 200,000 labourers in the Northern Emirates and the running of testing tents in the locked down souq district of Dubai.

The new move to share staff in Abu Dhabi would be an extension of that team-working.

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