New Abu Dhabi hospital set to cut need for medical tourism

Many Emiratis go abroad for medical services but the new Healthpoint hospital’s specialists mean they can now be treated at home.

Healthpoint, a new hospital based at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City, aims to attract patients who would normally travel abroad for treatment. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // A new hospital is aiming to attract patients who would normally travel overseas for treatment.

Mubadala Healthcare yesterday announced the opening of Healthpoint, a 74-bed, multi-speciality hospital at Zayed Sports City.

Dr Ihsan Al Marzouqi, the chief executive of Healthpoint and senior vice president at Mubadala, said orthopaedics, spinal surgery and paediatrics were among the top five areas for which Emiratis sought treatment abroad.

“All three are heavily focused departments here,” he said.

The outpatient clinics of some of the hospital’s departments opened yesterday.

Healthpoint, managed by the German operator Asklepios, also wants to meet a rising demand among expatriates.

“Abu Dhabi is attracting a lot of white-collar expats from all over the world,” Dr Al Marzouqi said. “They have an expectation, coming from their home countries, of how health care should be.

“I believe we will capture a lot of this new market that’s coming here and the existing market.”

Suhail Al Ansari, the executive director of Mubadala and chairman of Healthpoint, said: “It is our aim that through Healthpoint’s high-quality services more patients will choose to receive their care here at home, rather than travel abroad.”

The hospital, which began treating outpatients in June, offers family medicine, dentistry, general paediatrics, gynaecology and some imaging related to women’s health, and a pharmacy.

Departments soon to open include paediatric dentistry, urology, nephrology, dermatology, radiology, general surgery, and plastic and reconstructive services.

The hospital will eventually employ 63 doctors, 165 nurses, and 87 technicians and medical support staff.

About 10 per cent of the doctors are Emirati, while 70 to 80 per cent have been recruited from outside the UAE, primarily from Europe but also North America.

The hospital is to be the new base for the Abu Dhabi Knee and Sports Medicine Centre, which specialises in the treatment and rehabilitation of sports, work and general orthopaedic-related injuries.

Established by Mubadala in 2006, the clinic has been operating out of private hospitals while Healthpoint was being built.

“We actually set it up a few years ago due to the high needs of orthopaedics and, currently, it does more than 1,100 surgeries per year, and is expected to do a lot more,” Dr Al Marzouqi said.

The hospital will also be the flagship location for Wooridul Spine Centre, treating spinal injuries and chronic back pain. With 1,000 square metres of physiotherapy and rehabilitation areas, it will provide comprehensive orthopaedic and spinal care, and physiotherapy.

“What we would like to achieve is really a landmark healthcare supply to the population of Abu Dhabi, so we try to bring in German standards, German quality and German effectiveness and efficiency to Abu Dhabi to develop the health care in this country,” said Dr Klaus Rensing, the chief medical officer at Healthpoint, who works for Asklepios.

Mubadala Healthcare is a unit of Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government.