Construction work for the expansion of Rashid Hospital's Trauma and Emergency Centre in Dubai has begun, according to a top health official.
The expansion will add 160 beds and will cost AED161 million, said Essa Al Maidoor, director-general of the Dubai Health Authority, adding that work is set to be completed next year.
The expansion of the Trauma Centre is the first phase of the AED3 billion Rashid Hospital master plan that was announced by the Authority in May 2013.
Last year 166,000 patients were treated at the centre, with demand almost doubling since the centre began operations in 2006.
Al Maidoor said: "The Trauma Centre caters to the most critical cases in the emirate and therefore designing the expansion in a manner that is convenient to doctors and helps enhance patient care was of pivotal importance. Now, we have begun the construction using the pre-engineering concept and the project will be completed in one year."
The pre-engineering concept means the Trauma centre will continue to function as usual and at the same time the expansion work will be ongoing, he added.
On average, medical staff at the centre treat between 480 and 550 patients a day and this number is only expected to grow in the years to come.
The wider master plan includes six new specialised health centres, one four-star and another five-star hotel, villas and flats for staff accommodation, a mosque, lake way and landscaping and open spaces for children and families.
The main hospital will be rebuilt and will have three towers. Each tower will be seven storied and will have 300 beds - bringing the total capacity to 900 beds.