DUBAI, The emergency department, and the labour and delivery suite of the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, Dubai's oldest and largest dedicated maternity and paediatric hospital, are currently undergoing expansion to double the hospital's capacity at a total cost of AED100 million.

By September 2019, the first phase of the emergency department and the expansion of the labour and delivery suite will be complete. The second phase of the emergency department will be complete by March 2020. Upon completion, the department will be able to cater to 60,000 patients from the current 30,000.

Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, inspected the progress of the expansion work. He was given a detailed overview of the expansion project.

Al Qutami said, "The hospital provides high-quality maternity and paediatric services to the population of Dubai and is a referral centre for complicated cases not only for Dubai residents but also for patients from the Northern Emirates. It is a centre of excellence and the aim of the expansion is to enhance capacity as well as create a patient flow system that further improves care, helps medical staff provide high-quality medical services and is patient-centric and patient-friendly."

Dr. Muna Tahlak, CEO of the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, said, "The expansion of the labour suite will increase capacity and further create a patient and family-centric environment in line with international modern practices. The design is such that it will enhance accessibility, safety and delivery of service. The expansion will not only increase capacity but also it will improve patient flow procedures, minimise patient transfers from one location to another and enhance overall care.

"The strategic patient flow plan includes a centralised patient placement centre. From the time the patient enters the hospital until discharge, we have designed the expansion in such a manner that all processes take place next to each other creating an easy flow and minimising patient movement. We studied our processes as well as looked at international benchmarks before finalising the design process.

"Presently, approximately 5,000 to 6,000 deliveries take place per year at the hospital. The premises is recognised as a baby-friendly hospital and we follow kangaroo-care practices even for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU, babies to ensure speedy recovery of premature babies and early bonding between parents and the baby. The new design will enhance the capacity of our NICU services as well.

"The expansion will include two sides one designated for women and the other for children. The look of the department will be changed completely starting from the reception, MRI and obstetrics and gynaecology consultation rooms to enhance accessibility, safety and delivery of service."

Source: Emirates News Agency