Bahrain’s health facilities get $24m boost

bahrain-healthcareBahrain’s health facilities are receiving a BD9 million ($23.9 million) injection as part of a comprehensive modernisation plan.The extra funds are in addition to the BD176 million already sanctioned for the ministry for the year, said Under-Secretary Dr Abdul Hai Al Awadhi.

‘Of the extra funds, BD2.4 million will be spent on an upcoming genetic diseases centre while BD1.54 million has been earmarked for a new intensive care unit,’ he said.

‘We have also set aside BD1.7 million to modernise the x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facilities at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC).’

Dr Al Awadhi said BD2.5 million had been allocated for the modernisation of various cancer treatment facilities.

‘This will be used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment,’ he said.

Another project that will be taken up is a BD200,000 expansion of the paediatric ward at the SMC.

‘We will soon invite tenders for these projects and hope to begin work by the end of the year or early 2010,’ said Dr Al Awadhi.

The genetic centre, the first of its kind in the Gulf, will be a three-storey facility within the SMC at the site of the old maternity ward, he said. ‘The building will be connected to the SMC with a walkway and will have access to all the hospital’s facilities.’

Dr Al Awadhi said the facility would have a 25-bed emergency room on the ground floor, with wards for children, men and women occupying the first, second and third floors.

‘The construction will be completed in 30 months, which means it should be on stream by mid-2012,’ he said.

Meanwhile, a BD700,000 expansion project at the hospital’s accident and emergency department has been completed. It has created an additional 20 critical care beds, including six for sickle cell patients.

Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News reported in January that the project had been stalled due to a lack of funds.

It then ran into difficulties in March when one of the foreign companies supplying equipment for the new wing had closed down. The expansion was originally estimated to cost BD400,000.