By Andy Sambidge
UK-based IVF pioneer says facility will be able to treat about 50 couples per day
World renowned Bourn Hall Clinic will open its first in vitro fertilisation (IVF) centre in the Middle East and North Africa region in early 2012.
The IVF pioneer said in a statement that its expansion into the region would see a facility open in Dubai's Sheikh Hamdan Centre, Jumeirah.
The 22,000 sq ft Bourn Hall Clinic is set to welcome the first patients in early 2012 and has the capacity to treat about 50 couples per day, at various stages of their treatment, it added.
The Dubai facility will feature a state of the art laboratory complex, the first of its kind in the GCC, where couples can view lab procedures taking place through a specially integrated viewing area.
It will also include operating theatres, inpatient and outpatient rooms.
Bourn Hall Clinic is synonymous with IVF on a global scale and pioneered most of the standard treatment protocol procedures adopted worldwide.
Over 11,000 babies have been born following treatment from the UK centre alone.
Known as the father of IVF, Professor Robert Edwards co-founded the world's original IVF clinic at Bourn Hall Cambridge in 1980 after pioneering the first birth of a child conceived using IVF in 1978.
Karen Mohring, general manager, Bourn Hall Clinic Dubai, said: "We have designed the Dubai facility to be a world leader in terms of the environment in which eggs, sperm and embryos are nurtured.
"We will offer a comprehensive range of advanced infertility treatments which are fully Shariah compliant and our plan is to help 2,000 couples per year to achieve parenthood."
At capacity, Bourn Hall Clinic plans to have seven embryologists, six consultants and 14 nurses specialising in IVF treatment.
Government and private hospitals in the Gulf are expected to open more IVF centres this year, to cope with soaring demand for the treatment among infertile couples, experts said in September.
Healthcare operators and government agencies are thought to be expanding their existing offerings or opening new centres, to deal with increasing infertility rates in the region, healthcare analysts said.
“The Middle East is host to a booming and high-tech Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART) industry,” said Sandeep Sinha, the deputy director of healthcare for the Middle East at consultancy Frost and Sullivan.
“Governments of Middle Eastern countries are opening up IVF facilities in their existing set up hospitals and few are coming up with collaboration with private facilities.”
Clinics expected to open this year include a new IVF centre at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain, which has already assisted in the births of 1,000 babies since 1990, and Lifeline Hospital Group’s new Burjeel Hospital in Dubai, set to offer pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.For all the latest health tips & news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.