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Healthpoint keen to expand with medical tourists targeted

Based in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, the hospital said it would increase the number of beds to 78 in the first quarter, including five beds for its new paediatrics centre and 10 for treating obese patients. Currently, it has 44 inpatient beds for its 21 clinical departments and services. All of its rooms are single occupancy.

The hospital expects to open the paediatric wing as well as expand its plastic and cosmetics surgery centre and the ear, nose and throat clinic by the second quarter. It would also expand its pharmacy.

While its current focus is to stem the flow of patients travelling outside the UAE to seek advanced medical care, it would also aim to attract more international pat­ients next year.

Healthpoint’s specialist orthopedics centre, the Abu Dhabi Knee and Sports Medicine Centre, and the bariatric and metabolic surgery centre recorded patients from across the Arabian Gulf.

"We will start to look at medical tourism [next year] and are likely to focus on orthopedics, spine and bariatrics as these are the centres [that] offer specialties that would serve the region," said Dr Ihsan Al Marzouqi, the associate director at Mubadala Healthcare and a member of the board of directors for Healthpoint.

"At the moment our objective is to provide services for patients who were previously traveling overseas for quality care, and fill that gap."

Mubadala’s healthcare division reported a profit of Dh77.5 million during the first half of the year, up from Dh18.6m in the same period last year. The division also owns the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Treatments and procedures related to orthopaedics, spine, cosmetic surgery, family medicine, gynaecology and dentistry have gained popularity among patients from the UAE at Healthpoint, in line with the trend across the emirate.

To cater to the demand, Healthpoint said it would also hire more physicians next year.

Through August, Healthpoint employed 380 medical personnel, including 65 physicians and 315 nursing, pharmacy and technical staff. It expects to reach 90 physicians by the end of next year.

"Career progression and concise career pathways are given to UAE nationals who join our team," according to Sarah Staal, Healthpoint’s chief administrative officer.

The hospital provides opportunities such as internships, job shadowing, mentoring, on-the-job coaching, formal classroom training and job rotation, collaborating with its sister facilities.

The three-year-old hospital’s average bed occupancy rate was 90 to 100 per cent during the first half of the year for stays between Sundays and Thursdays, according to Ms Staal.

It expects anywhere between 1,000 and 1,200 patients a day. During the first half, about 146,000 patients registered at the hospital, a 76 per cent increase on a year earlier.

"Offering patients larger, private rooms with five-star amenities in a true boutique-style experience is our objective as we know that a better experience leads to happier patients and better outcomes," Ms Staal said.

This year, Healthpoint opened its bariatric center, and in September doubled the number of dentistry chairs to 12.