Facilities Update

Healthpoint opens its doors in Abu Dhabi

Middle East Health speaks to Dr. Nader Darwich, Medical Director at Healthpoint, about the new hospital which recently opened in Abu Dhabi.

Middle East Health: I understand Healthpoint is a relatively new healthcare facility in Abu Dhabi – when did it open? Where in Abu Dhabi is it situated?

Dr. Nader Darwich: We opened the first phase of our outpatient services in June last year, which included the family medicine, dentistry, pediatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, spine and physiotherapy and rehabilitation departments. Today, this list also includes nephrology, diagnostics imaging, and visceral medicine, which encompasses gastroenterology and surgical procedures related to the digestive tract. Our state-of-the-art facility is centrally located in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, off of Airport road and right next to the iconic Zayed Stadium.

Middle East Health: Is Healthpoint an independent organization or is it partnered with any other organizations? If so, who?

Dr. Nader Darwich: Healthpoint is part of Mubadala, which is an investment and development company owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi that was formed to support the diversification of the emirate’s economy. Specifically, we are part of Mubadala’s healthcare unit, which plays an instrumental role in the development of a pioneering, commercially-sustainable, world-class healthcare sector for the emirate through the creation of specialist healthcare facilities prioritizing the region’s most pressing healthcare needs. Our management partner is Asklepios, one of the largest private operators of hospitals and healthcare facilities in Germany. The hospital group boasts over 25 years of experience in healthcare and hospital management and currently operates more than 140 healthcare facilities, providing care for over two million patients annually.

Middle East Heatlh: What type of healthcare facility is Healthpoint?

Dr. Nader Darwich: Healthpoint is a fully integrated primary care and multi-specialty facility. We are a highly-elective facility with a comprehensive range of in- and out-patient treatments. Our aim is to provide the highest quality of care, all in one place. We also strive to become an innovative, research-participative medical facility that provides our patients with peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary and patient-focused care benchmarked against international best practices. MEH: In what areas of medicine does its expertise lie?

Dr. Nader Darwich: Healthpoint incorporates multiple specialties into one convenient location, which means that we have a broad base of medical expertise. Our current outpatient services include family medicine, dentistry, pediatric dentistry, gynecology, visceral medicine (gastroenterology care and imaging), nephrology and diagnostic services. We will also soon offer dermatology, plastic surgery, pulmonary care, wound care, podiatry and urology. [Emergency services are not offered at Healthpoint.]

Middle East Health: What are its key specialties?

Dr. Nader Darwich: Healthpoint has a strong focus on orthopedic medicine. Our Orthopedics Department offers the latest advances in rehabilitation and surgical techniques for sports and other injuries of the shoulders, hips and knees, including: arthroscopically assisted ACL surgery, meniscus preservation, articular cartilage repair, minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, total hip and knee replacements and arthroscopic and open shoulder procedures. We are also the only healthcare facility in the Middle East and North African region offering the option of musculoskeletal allograft tissue to patients with complex knee problems. Our Spine Care Department is a specialist unit entirely dedicated to the treatment of spinal injuries and chronic back pain – from diagnostics and pain management through to advanced surgical techniques. We pursue conservative management of neck and back problems, including scoliosis, and also perform occupational and sports assessments following injury. We are pioneers in minimally-invasive spinal surgery, utilizing an endoscopic laser to effectively treat disorders of the spinal disc and in doing so, reducing surgical damage to muscle and tissue, minimizing scarring and significantly improving recovery times. Complementing both our orthopedic and spine care offerings is a state-of-theart, 1,000 square meter physiotherapy center, the largest of its kind in Abu Dhabi. Our physiotherapy treatment plans are individualized and include therapeutic exercise, functional rehabilitation and personal wellness tips to increase the chancesof long-term results and to help our patients feel their best beyond the course of their treatment at Healthpoint. We utilize a range of musculoskeletal physiotherapy treatments – including manual therapy, dry-needling, myofascial therapy, hydrotherapy and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) – to improve the condition of the neck, back and knees by reducing pain, increasing mobility and correcting posture. Our center also includes dedicated space for women and children’s unique physiotherapy needs. Furthermore, we are very proud of our new Department of Visceral Medicine, the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. It’s an innovative concept, where gastroenterologists and general surgeons work closely together to provide comprehensive services that assist in the diagnosis and treatment of abdominal and liver disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, liver lesions, and cancers of the stomach and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. We are one of the first hospitals in the UAE to use carbon dioxide insufflation during endoscopy; the technique eliminates the typical discomfort, bloating and pain of endoscopy by using carbon dioxide, as opposed to standard air, to perform endoscopy for maximum patient comfort. Our department also uses Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) to diagnose and remove pre-cancerous lesions via endoscopy, eliminating the need for surgery in most cases and adding to patient convenience; and, offers contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), an ultrasound technique that helps to diagnose abdominal and liver disorders without exposing patients to radiation. In addition, we are proud to offer family medicine alongside these specialties. This team’s focus is on preventative medicine, a newer concept in the region, and we are proud to help Abu Dhabi families get and stay healthy through a focus on wellness.

Middle East Health: How big is it, how many beds? What is the staff complement?

Dr. Nader Darwich: The facility itself is spread over 53,000 square meters, and, once fully operational, will offer a total of 75 beds across our three suite types of standard, executive and VIP. Of the 53,000 square meters, 1000 sq m are dedicated to our state-of-the-art physiotherapy and rehabilitation center, the largest in Abu Dhabi. It is also the first in Abu Dhabi to offer separate areas for men, women, and children – the women’s and children’s areas alone cover almost 325 sq m. When fully operational, our team will comprise of more than 50 physicians, and more than 500 staff members including nurses and allied health professionals.

Middle East Health: From where have you drawn your doctors and nurses? What qualifications do they have?

Dr. Nader Darwich: We set out to bring the best and brightest talents internationally to our clinical team, and I think we have succeeded in doing that. We have a great mix of people from across the globe, with various backgrounds and cultures, many holding European and North American Board Certifications. We’ve also sought out the best in Emirati talent. Our physicians are either members or fellows of medical boards in countries such as Germany, the UK, and the USA. In fact, quite a number of our physicians are either leaders or pioneers in their fields, and we’re excited to be bringing their international expertise to the people of Abu Dhabi.

Middle East Health: Several new healthcare facilities have been developed in Abu Dhabi over the past few years – a trend in many countries in the GCC. What sets Healthpoint apart from the competition?

Dr. Nader Darwich:Healthpoint utilizes an Integrated Practice Unit (IPU) model which brings together teams of physicians and specialists to address complex medical conditions through the full cycle of care. This innovative and efficient model minimizes a patient’s need to seek multiple opinions from physicians and specialists, resulting in a highly patient-centric and multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment and disease management. We recognize that patients here tend to travel abroad in search for medical excellence; we want them to realize that they no longer have to do that in order to receive the highest level of expertise and care. In addition, our brand new, purposebuilt building is one of the few hospitals in the region to pre-qualify for a “Gold” LEED award. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a US-based green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices dedicated to sustainable building design and construction. Healthpoint was designed with both experience and environmental sustainability in mind for the benefit of current and future patients alike, and to have minimal impact on public and residential natural resources. The building stands to receive high points in water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and sustainable sites, among other areas.

Middle East Health: Can you tell me about some of the specialized equipment the facility has and explain how patients can benefit from this equipment?

Dr. Nader Darwich: Visceral Medicine at Healthpoint is an area of innovation. We are one of the first hospitals in the UAE to use carbon dioxide insufflation during endoscopy, which eliminates the typical discomfort, bloating and pain of endoscopy by using carbon dioxide, as opposed to air, to perform endoscopy. The carbon dioxide is rapidly absorbed during the procedure, as opposed to the gradual absorption post-appointment when standard air is used, which makes for a much more comfortable experience for the patient. Healthpoint’s Visceral Medicine physicians also use Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) to diagnose and remove pre-cancerous lesions via endoscopy. These lesions are removed during the same appointment as the endoscopy, eliminating the need for surgery in most cases. In addition, our hospital is one of the first in the UAE to offer contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), an ultrasound technique that helps to diagnose abdominal and liver disorders without exposing patients to radiation. Our orthopedic, spine care, and physiotherapy departments also offer a number of tools that are unique in Abu Dhabi, including the Centaur, a device used to strengthen back muscles, and the Neurac sling, which facilitates muscle reactivation following surgery.

Date of upload: 16th May 2014

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