With reporting from Lesley Walker
As Qatar races to construct more medical facilities for its rapidly growing population, the country’s public works authority has said it’s planning a new 250-bed hospital near Qatar University.
Earlier this week, Ashghal asked contractors to formally indicate their interest in bidding on the project.
According to its notice, the new hospital will provide secondary and tertiary care in addition to several medical services, including pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, general surgery, cardiology, bariatric surgery, orthopedics and long-term care.
The main four-story building will contain 61,000 square meters of space, while an adjacent four-floor ancillary structure will be used for parking and non-clinical support services.
Construction work is expected to start by March 2016.
It’s not clear whether the facility will be government-run or privately operated and its completion date also remains to be seen.
There are also questions about whether it is part of plans to construct a 1,100-bed mass casualty trauma hospital in the same area.
Construction on that facility was supposed to start early this year and expected to be complete by 2022, one year later than originally scheduled.
Health care expansion
The new hospitals near QU are two of the latest facilities to be announced as the Qatar works to increase its health care services.
In March, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) announced a 15-year plan to double the number of hospital beds and operating theaters by the year 2030 by redeveloping HMC’s current central Doha sites into a single integrated complex, linked across C-Ring Road by a pedestrian bridge.
However, health care officials and construction contractors have been criticized for not moving fast enough.
Members of the Central Municipal Council said the plans were not ambitious enough and would be insufficient to handle the needs of Qatar’s population in five years, let alone 15, Al Raya reported.
In January, meanwhile, Qatar’s prime minister ordered a handful of new hospitals within the under-construction Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City to be finished and fully equipped by mid-2015.
However, health care officials have indicated that this deadline will not be met, saying that the women’s hospital and ambulatory hospital are not expected to be operational until around mid-2016.
As construction continues, medical officials say the current system is strained but that patients are still being treated in a timely fashion.
Last fall, HMC medical director Dr. Yusuf Al Maslamani said the main hospital’s emergency department handles 1,500 to 2,000 cases daily.
“(This) places a great pressure on our services,” he said, according to the Gulf Times.
Al Maslamani said he’d like to see more cases involving minor injuries or chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes treated at clinics rather than emergency rooms in order to free up more resources.
But will people be allowed out when they want to leave?
Nope. There is going to be an exit permit just for the hospital itself, in addition to the usual one needed to leave the country.
I don’t know if it’s still a problem, but in past years a big driver of the bed shortage in HMC hospitals was related to patients who were having such a lovely time lying in bed being waited on, that they simply refused to go home:
A couple of days ago, procedures at Women’s Hospital, which sees more than 50 births each day, came to a standstill. The emergency services were stuck, the labour room was jammed and the inpatient beds were all occupied.
The reason was that some of the inpatients who had been discharged and were fit to go home were waiting in their beds until their families felt it necessary to move them. Due to lack of inpatient beds, post-natal women had to wait in their delivery beds in the labour room. Since all the delivery beds were thus occupied, women with labour pains could not be admitted and hence delivered in the Emergency Unit.
“Who has to be blamed here? When doctors say patients are fit to go home, we are responsible for them. We are not pushing them; we just need to make space for an equally important patient. Is it not unfair to leave a woman in labour spasm to deliver in the emergency,” asks Dr Halima Al Tamimi, Chairperson, Gynaecology & Obstetrics Department, Women’s Hospital.
Patients occupying hospital beds long after they are discharged has been putting a big stress on various HMC hospitals for long. The hospitals, despite a number of expansion works, are facing acute bed shortages and have long lists of those waiting to be admitted.
According to statistics, revealed in early 2009, one-fifth of the total beds available in the Hamad General hospital (HGH) were occupied by in-patients who refused to leave the hospital. Of the then available 600 beds, 120 were occupied by those whose medical treatment was over long ago.
The story is worse in the other hospitals. Last year, in Rumailah Hospital, 180 out of 230 old-age or geriatric patients were fit to go home. Twenty-eight paediatric beds and 12 female beds were also occupied by similar patients. The hospitals had some 15 stable coma cases in which the patient’s stay at the hospital or home would make no difference. To make matters worse, many adult patients often refuse to shift from ICUs to normal wards once the critical stage is over. The reasons for this can be as trivial as unavailability of private rooms. The situation is not different with the NICU, where many babies born with congenital diseases are abandoned by families.
If Qatar implemented a midwifery system that should put a lot of pressure off the women’s hospital, women could be treated at home, call to ask questions if they were not sure instead of going to the emergency room. Also creating birthing centres for women who choose to have a natural delivery. If only they updated their birthing system to the year 2015 there would not be this problem.
I was going to tl;dr this, but it was actually quite interesting – thanks.
Don’t forget there are a number of patients declared fit and waiting to go home for hours for a release form is not signed by the ‘responsible’ doctor or the shot that was supposed to given to them are delayed by infinite paperwork! This bureaucracy must be scrapped and the doctor-assist stuff coordination must be improved by regular training.
the paperwork really is quite spectacular. I don’t get why it goes on the computer AND is always printed out. Don’t they trust the computer?
Deleting for needlessly provoking.
This is certainly good news and something Qatar could use now. Hope it doesn’t take too long but I’m guessing we are many, many use away from seeing a fully functioning new hospital
Good news indeed.
Not everyone sees it as such. Some commenters are still bringing up kafala and exit permit into this story.
Your expat stereotyping is as annoying as MIMH’s endless nagging! Just when I thought, Oh what a great news….how can we get bad comments on this!
Lol welcome to the internet, where if you have something good to say, say something bad instead.
Does anyone know when Sidra will be opened?
The Multh of Mullember.
That project has many delays, and management put recently a freeze on new hires. Some also left on their own because they found themselves sitting in offices and doing nothing.
I don’t think I would want to be in that building. It’s been modified to the point I doubt it’s structurally sound. aesthetics ruled over safety and greed over proper engineering. Hopefully the same philosophy doesn’t show up with the staff.
im hopping for QATARIS ONLY hospital .nothing fancy, somthing that cater only for the national Minority .
Will it have firearms available for those Qataris who want to threaten staff, or will they have to take their own?
WOW, thanks for showing your RACISM to us.
Deleting this thread for getting nasty.
Not going to delete the original post for encouraging discrimination based on national origin?
its not discrimination , it called nationality , im from this country , i can ask for A hospital that cater only for Qataris, ppl here can use other hospitals (private/public) if they wish to, im asking for one only,im not asking for preventing you form using health care. also for a lot of expat/Qataris who work with QP/RG their own company health system. others cant access, i don’t hear anyone calling it discrimination ???
Your employer is a choice, same as religion, clothing, club membership, etc. Nationality, ethnicity, skin colour and the like are not choices. This is a fundamental difference. It is clearly discrimination, however in Qatar it is still an acceptable one. One can only hope that this will change in the future.
By your logic you would have no problem is I started a sports club and said “No Qataris” or “Albanians only”. You can imagine how that would be received, and rightly so. What if I opened a diabetes facility and said Bangladeshis Medical facilities should be based on medical need, not nationality.
I have found your opinion above, while probably widely held, to be deeply discriminatory.
This is to be expected, Qatar is just beginning to grapple with the ideas of ethnicity, identity, human rights, discrimination and the like that it has never had to think about before. I expect to see lots and lots of issues like this in the future as Qatar deals with its changed population.
NO IT NOT, because your in Qatar (visitor/expat /tourist) not immigrant, you don’t pay Tax to the government nor holds it nationality , when other countries start offering equal services to ppl who don’t hold the same nationality as there citizen . then & only then you can say you were discriminated against .
you would see this clearly when you entire any country, there is national line & other lines .
i didnt but the rules, this is life
Ummm, where I’m from all people, whether national or foreigner, get equal service. To discriminate based on nationality, religion and the like gets you put in prison. Is it perfect, no. Does the discrimination still happen? You bet. However, unlike Qatar, at least it is seen as an ideal to strive for.
Again, Qatar is very young and still moving down the multi-ethnic demographic path. They will learn and adapt at their own pace.
sorry , your day dreaming
As you wish, there is no use having a conversation with one so young and ill-informed. Get some more experience under your belt we can have an informed conversation.
I’m confused as to what the actions of other countries have to do with the action of Qatar, but anyway.
sorry that logic does not work in real life/there are club which are for members only (reality )
you cant entire places according to your religion mosque / temples ets (reality )
you can use some facilities because of your gender (bathrooms/locker rooms) (reality)
plz dont argue what real ( in your minde only ) & whats is reality
If I made a club and the basis for membership is nationality, that is, in most places, illegal discrimination. It is common here, yet that is still discrimination. Mosques and temples are bad example as they are choice and a shared interest, you can take the steps to adopt the lifestyle to enter them. You gender choice is laughable, please argue what is real and not what’s in your minde only. You will come to understand this over time.
so your telling me non-citizen ppl get the same treatment in your country, HAHAHA
Well, we are not really comparing similar things here as my country has citizens, this is something that Qatar doesn’t have. But to your point, yes. When you go to the hospital, bank, or government everyone lines up as there is no special lines or buildings just for citizens. That is extremely distasteful.
are you laying, what country are from again.
No, I’m sitting.
just like us humans ,you have evolved ,LOL
Clearly, you are not a product of the Qatar education system or else you wouldn’t even know that word. Buy anyway, thank you, I take that as a compliment.
this was fun , leaving now, bye imaginary expat
It has been fun young feller, we’ll do it again one day.
One possible reason why there aren’t Qatari only hospitals (and I don’t actually think it’s a terrible idea, by the way) is that when it gets busy, you will end up with a situation where one Qatari will be complaining that there are too many ‘fake’ Qataris, and mutter things like “he’s not even a real Qatari, he’s Iranian” etc. It will lead to division and resentment among the local population.
the national ID will give the identity . that’s how the system works
Ok, I think I didn’t make my point clearly enough. Imagine you are in the Qatari only hospital, and it’s really, really, really busy. All the patients are Qatari, and all have Qatari passports and Qatari IDs, but some people get annoyed that they have to wait behind 100 other Qataris, and start saying that bedous shouldn’t be allowed there because they take up too much time, or people whose family is originally Iranian shouldn’t be allowed in because they aren’t a ‘real’ Qatari, or people who are from Saudi but now have a Qatari passport etc.
Even if all the patients are Qatari, there will always be some who don’t want to wait behind other people who they see as being less than their status.
let see the hospital first, then we can deal if any of those things happens.
Ah yes, the old ‘original Qatari’ canard. That will be fun to watch.
I’m Qatari But you brought the Eid !!! ( term that Qatari use to say that we screw up!)
this is so racist ., so If there are a foreigner had an accident near this hospital they will say no leave you are not Qatari ?
in health we are all equal .. our government provided us with a lot of benefits my friend .. for example there a separate part in hamad emergency just for Qataris , airports, even salaries (60% increase) , I know you want to say that some foreigners take more , but those foreigners with mind blowing salaries are few comparing to all Qataris and other foreigners !!
again with this , you really should rethink what you write. you said it, ACCIDENT which internationally no hospital would refuse to accept , but lets say dentist visit, can be easily transformed to another hospital , & now with new system , public hospital would send you to the nearest health care near your resident , for minor things of course , Qatari or not , its not discriminating , its prioritization , plz take a good look around you before saying that i brought the Eid .HA
ok let there be a QATARIS ONLY hospital. you mean everyone will be qatari right? the receptionists, nurses etc as well?
ofcourse not !!
so when a “certain” nationality is a nurse or doctor then he gets a non-Qatari patient with the same nationality they have to throw the patient out ??
I want to apologize on behalf of him this is racist and arrogant !
In itself it’s not racist. It would all depend on how it worked (though it probably wouldn’t). I’m a big advocate for Q-Lanes on the roads just for public transport and Qataris. It’d work a treat.
you dont have the right to say i apologize for him , because you should really think before (to your logic , go to a certain school in doha (public one) lets say in new salata , and you live in wakrah , the would refuse to take you in, they only serve ppl in new salata , its not discriminating , its prioritization , so really whos the arrogant here sir.
i hope why not?
But then who would push in front of whom?
“Construction work is expected to start by March 2016”. No …..’fraid not.
still day dreaming bud . wake up
This is a qat and mouse race!! Sorry for bad pun LOL!
thanks for this information http://www.bestamericanhealthed.com/blog/2015/01/13/Medical-Assistant-Training-Certification-Online.aspx?alt_id=64808-81051-4S2&ts=635694834238490449
15 year long overdue!
A perfect example of poor planning! If there were any to begin with!
With the huge wealth this country sits on, we should have seen state of the art type of facilities!
This is a real proof of “money alone can’t do it ” , transparency and competence must come with it.