UAE: Field hospitals is Abu Dhabi’s response to Covid surge, benefits maximum at minimum cost

UAE: Field hospitals is Abu Dhabi’s response to Covid surge, benefits maximum at minimum cost

The United Arab Emirates fights back Covid-19 by installing field hospitals in order to cater to the medical needs of the maximum infected population at the minimum cost. The Government of Abu Dhabi has set Al Razeen Field Hospital, on the outskirts of the city, in a record time of nine days. The authorities pulled off the mega emergency operation with the help of a UAE-based healthcare organisation called, MediQ.

The founder and the CEO of MediQ, Bidhan Chowdhury told reporters that his organisation tied up with the government as the authorities were exploring effective ways of isolating Covid positive patients in a cost-effective manner. Giving the details of the makeshift hospital, Chowdhury told the Gulf News, “We are glad we had good partners to set up these tents, meeting all the vital parameters — weatherproof material was used, considering the heat, sand storms, winds and rain. Internally, temperature-controlled A/C, one-way ventilation, air pressure, and fresh air control, HEPA-approved filters were deployed, cozy patient rooms with all the usual amenities like regular hospital were set up.”

When asked about the dismantling process of these emergency hospitals, he added that these hospitals were “capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions.” The group chief said, “They are capable to serve for a long time. That is why none of the field hospitals have been dismantled completely. There have only been some partial conversions for complying with screening and vaccination needs.”

The medical group head added that the organisation trained its medical staff as per the guidelines issued by Abu Dhabi’s health department and in line with the protocol shared by the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control. To meet the requirement of increasing manpower for the successful running of the operation, Chowdhury said that the organisation took in people of other ethnicities as well. But at the same time, it trained and well-acquainted its staff with the cultural sensitivities of the Arab nation.

Chowdhury emphasised that the most interesting aspect of these hospitals was that they were managed by medical staff who were trained in multitasking, hence optimal utilisation of resources slashed the costs. Besides, he added that the staff took care of a relatively greater number of patients. Though he clarified that the admission to the medical facility could not be made directly, as a patient was required to be referred by the COVID Command Centre.

These hospitals definitely take a huge load off the local health infrastructure and government budget as they hold a capacity of 150 to 1200 beds with 20 to 30 percent of total facilities equal to ICU beds. Besides, their cost ranged from Dh18 million to Dh25 million for a mid-sized 150 to a 250-bed facility. Given the success rate of these Covid treatment facilities, which was said to be less than 0.05 percent death rate, the UAE government has already decided to set up more of these filed hospitals in every Emirate.

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