King Abdullah Medical City: a healthcare hub in Bahrain

February 12, 2018 in Infrastructure

A major healthcare project is under construction on Bahrain’s east coast.

The King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC) is a SR1 billion ($266 million) healthcare complex with academic and medical facilities, a research centre and on-site accommodation, purpose built for doctors and students.

The city’s specialized research centers will investigate some of the biggest prevailing diseases in the GCC region, including cancer, diabetes and obesity.

KAMC will be built under the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) and official work is set to begin on July 30, 2018.

The city was commissioned by the late King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, who made a pledge to the people of Bahrain on a two day visit in 2014. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, 1st King of Bahrain, expressed “profound gratitude” and said that all the GCC countries would benefit immensely from King Abdullah’s initiative.

AGU has honoured city the city with the title “King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Medical City”. The name recognises “the pioneering role of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the services of the Arab and Islamic nations”, according to the university’s President, Dr Khalid Abdul Rahman Al Ohali. On speaking to Trade Arabia, he said:

“The name is a tribute to his King Abdullah’s generous support to common GCC development and to the Arabian Gulf University. We are confident that the university will be an outstanding centre for science and learning.”

The project is being funded through a $267m grant from the late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and it will use a 100ha plot of land donated by HM King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain.

On speaking to Arabian Business, the President of the AGU said:

“The city, like King Hamad University Hospital, is part of a public hospitals system that the government aims to establish in cooperation with healthcare institutions such as the Supreme Council of Health and National Health Regulatory Authority.

“Its capacity and advanced medical capabilities will serve residents of the Southern Governorate in line with [Bahrain’s] wider urban development plans, which envisage providing a hospital in each governorate.”

Now the design stage has been completed, AGU have signed infrastructure and design tenders and contracts for each of the project’s phases.

Phase 1 entails an academic medical center, retail store, commercial laundry, warehouse storage, initial accommodation of staff housing, on-grade parking and infrastructure to support the initial start-up of the academic medical centre.

Speaking on behalf of AGU, the Vice-President Dr Khaled Tabbara told the press:

“Phase one of the project will include the construction of three buildings including an eight-story tower with the 288-bed hospital, a three-story outpatient clinic and an adjacent building with clinical services including operating theatres, a morgue, restaurants and an educational area.”

“The service and teaching hospital will include the four-main axis – internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology – with subspecialty [divisions]. A total of 144 beds will be allocated for medical surgery, 36 for obstetrics and gynecology, 24 for pediatrics, 12 for pediatrics day cases, 24 for a neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 36 for surgical and medical ICU and 12 for labour and delivery rooms.”

Phase 2 is expected to expand to a total of 500 beds, a medical school, research laboratories, a clinical research centre, conference centres, a medical hotel and a rehabilitation centre hospital, alongside resident’s support functions, an inclusive recreation centre, nursery, a retail centre, resident’s health centre, a mosque and sufficient parking to serve the expansion.

Infrastructure works are also being planned. Initial blueprints include the installation of a 66-kV main power station, a sewage treatment plant, water collection tanks, storm water drainage networks and sewerage networks, in addition to irrigation networks, internal and external road networks, lighting, telecommunication networks and aesthetic works on the project location.

As the Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, His Excellency, Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabar, has been informed about the progress of the project throughout its development. On the 27th September 2017, the Ambassador paid a visit to the university, where he was received by President of AGU. The President showed him around the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences. The Ambassador met with the newly admitted students for the academic year 2017-2018 and discussed a number of topics with them, such as the provision of basic necessities of accommodation, monthly allowances and health insurance, and facilitations of communication services and support.

Sheikh Azzam Al-Sabah said that the conditions of students at AGU call for “pride”, due to the advancement of scientific and academic achievement that they have paved.

The Ambassador said addressing the needs of Kuwaiti students at AGU is one of his responsibilities and priorities. His administration is “keen to follow up on students and encourage them to continue their achievements and excellence in in various fields of education.”

For his part, Dr Khalid praised Kuwait’s leading role in supporting the university over the past 37 years, since its foundation stage. He said that this reflects keenness on the continuity of the university’s work as an educational system that unites the citizens of the Gulf. He expressed his pride in the university’s Kuwaiti students, who make up about a third of the total number of students, and assured AGU’s continued commitment to the health development process in the State of Kuwait.

His Excellency the Ambassador attended a brief presentation on AGU’s role as a regional university which is owned, funded and managed by GCC countries. He was given an overview of the medical, technical and educational programmes offered by the university, in addition to the nature of the university’s cooperation programmes with Gulf governmental institutions and international institutions such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme. In addition, the presentation highlighted the university’s cooperation with international universities such as ASEC and Boston College: adding further value to the medical achievements in the GCC.

Alongside medical advancement, KAMC hopes to employ 700 healthcare professionals to work in the city, creating a lively community of medics, securing a sizeable amount of new jobs. The city is scheduled for completion at the end of 2019.