Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, today visited Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital (HMGH) as the facility prepares to recommence normal services following its role as a COVID-19 facility since the end of March 2020.
“One of the key elements of our COVID-19 strategy since the start of the pandemic has been to expand hospital capacity to ensure every COVID-19 patient needing medical treatment can access the care they need without delay. Along with the Communicable Disease Center, Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital was one of the first of seven hospitals to be designated as COVID-19 facilities over the past 15 months and its dedicated teams have cared for more than 10,344 patients since the start of the pandemic. Our ability to expand intensive care capacity at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, and across HMC’s hospital network, has been a key factor in Qatar having one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. This is a truly remarkable achievement and testament to the commitment and expertise of every member of staff at the hospital,” said H.E. Dr. Al Kuwari.
“The reopening of normal healthcare services at Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, following recent recommencement of services at the Surgical Speciality Center and Al Wakra Hospital, comes as we continue to see fewer people admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Thanks to the community’s adherence to the precautionary measures, and the fast roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination program, we have successfully supressed the second wave of the virus and continue to see the number of new daily cases, and hospitalizations, fall,” she added.
During the visit, the Minister met with the senior leadership team at HMGH and presented a plaque of appreciation to formally recognize the vital role its staff have played. Her Excellency also met with three recovered COVID-19 patients who had been admitted to the hospital and successfully treated for their symptoms. The patients expressed their satisfaction at the high-quality of care they had received and thanked the hospital’s care teams.
HMC’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, said: “Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital has been a vital element of our COVID-19 strategy. In March 2020, the teams worked incredibly hard to transform this general hospital into a COVID-19 facility and significantly expand its capacity. The hospital increased its normal capacity from 102 acute care beds to a maximum of 557 acute beds, while also increasing intensive care capacity from 16 beds to 230 ICU beds.”
“Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital has cared for the sickest patients with the most complex conditions, as well as the most surgical specialities for COVID-19 patients. The hospital has been supported by staff and resources from across HMC for the past 15 months in what has been a system-wide effort. I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in the transformation of this hospital into a COVID-19 facility and in the delivery high-quality care to thousands of patients throughout this pandemic. They are all healthcare heroes,” said Dr. Al Ansari.
Since March 2020, more than 3,280 patients have been admitted to this hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. These patients have been affected by severe complications due to the virus and have required life-saving medical treatment from our intensive care teams. More people were admitted to intensive care units throughout the second wave than during the first wave, due to the increased severity of new variants and this put increased pressure on our system.
Executive Director of Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, Mr. Hussein Al Ishaq, explained how the hospital achieved a sixfold increase in its bed capacity by setting up field hospitals on the campus. “Very early on in the pandemic we identified the need to significantly expand our hospital capacity to meet the increased demand for beds. This required an innovative approach and we quickly began the planning and construction of several field hospitals. These field hospitals have not only played an essential role in our pandemic response over the past 15 months, but they will remain in place and provide additional capacity for any future health crisis that we might face.”
“I would like to thank the Minister of Public Health for the leadership and direction that she has given us throughout this pandemic and convey my gratitude and admiration to every one of the 2,400 staff who have worked tirelessly in this hospital throughout this unprecedented time,” added Mr. Al Ishaq.
With the hospital’s role of caring solely for COVID-19 patients now at an end, HMGH will return to normal service provision delivering a wide range of high-quality medical services to people living in the Industrial Area and surrounding areas.
Source and cover image: HMC
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