Dubai, 8th November, 2016: High-ranking representatives gathered today to break ground on the site of King’s College Hospital London, Dubai. The construction of the 100-bed hospital in a plot located at the heart of the premium community ‘Dubai Hills’, is set to be completed in Q4 2018. During the ground breaking ceremony, the leading London teaching hospital, revealed that amongst many other specialised surgical procedures to be offered locally, it will bring to Dubai its world leading expertise in liver transplant surgery. Along with this major announcement, King’s also announced the appointment of Neil Buckley as the CEO of King’s Dubai.
Joining the new CEO in the breaking ground ceremony were H.E. Ahmed H. Al Tayer, Chairman of King’s College Hospital London, Dubai; other board members; Professor Nigel Heaton, Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon at King’s College Hospital, London, UK; and Dr. Badreya Alshehhi, Dermatology Consultant at King’s College Hospital London Medical & Surgical Centre, Abu Dhabi.
The hospital, which will open its doors in Dubai in 2018, following the launch of its Dubai-based clinics and its existing flagship Medical & Surgical Centre in Abu Dhabi, is set to become one of the first UAE-based hospital to offer liver transplant procedures. These will be in the form of living-related transplants, meaning that the corresponding liver donor is a relative of the patient. Patients in the UAE, who may be affected by severe liver failure, will thus be given a renewed life opportunity in their home country.
Locally offered liver transplants mean that patients in the UAE will have the convenient, less disruptive and more affordable option of recovering on home soil, without the need to travel to get the life-changing surgery and attend post-procedure follow-ups. In the near future, this specialised surgery will also help address the unmet needs of the wider GCC, and help merge an important regional healthcare gap, stemming from the limited availability of transplant care in the region. In fact, it is reported that 6% of all outflowing GCC patients in 2013 travelled abroad to seek transplant care1.
The living-related transplant programme in Dubai will be led by Professor Nigel Heaton, who spearheads King’s London’s leading hepatology unit. The unit comprises the largest liver transplant programme in Europe, which has been performing liver transplants in the UK for the last 30 years, and delivers over 200 liver transplants per year.
Enlightening guests at the ceremony, Professor Nigel Heaton explained: “Thirty-seven years ago, a very generous and visionary man decided to give thousands of patients another chance at life. This man was the former President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose donation in 1979 helped to found the King’s liver research centre in London.”
“Today, the centre is amongst the top three liver specialist centres in the world and number one in Europe, and has been responsible for saving the lives of countless patients in need of liver transplants over the last three decades. As we commemorate him today, and on behalf of the King’s team in London and in the UAE, we truly look forward to building on the legacy he started by giving back to this very community through offering local patients in need living-related liver transplants in the near future.” continued the professor.
As part of today’s ceremony, King’s also revealed that Neil Buckley, former CEO of Wellington Hospital and previously CEO of The Harley Street Clinic in London, has been selected as the CEO of King’s Dubai. With a long-spanning career track record in clinical operational excellence, he will lead the teams at King’s Dubai to deliver the highest standards of care, help bring and retain the most qualified medical staff, of which a significant per cent will be UK trained, as well as will contribute to building an unparalleled environment for patients and staff.
Speaking at the ceremony Mr. Buckley, stated: “I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining King’s Dubai at such a significant and pivotal time. I look forward to the challenge of being a part of these decisive phases that are really helping to write the next chapter of King’s 175 year legacy and shape healthcare here in the UAE. We are extremely proud that we will be providing such complex, much needed and specialised surgical procedures locally. This cutting-edge offering will not only mean an enhanced holistic approach to diagnosis, treatment and recovery for local patients, but also help further Dubai and the UAE’s vision to provide in-country world-class healthcare services.”
A Dubai Health Authority (DHA) Report anticipates that in 2015 to 2025, with the expected rise in aging population and future growth of chronic diseases, Dubai will witness an increased demand in specialised care, in areas such as: Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Endocrinology, Cardiology, Respiratory Medicine, and Neurosciences, amongst others3. To this respect, King’s Dubai will offer highly specialised care through four centres of excellence (Obstetrics & Gynaecology & Fetal Medicine, Paediatrics, Diabetes & Endocrinology and Orthopaedics), as well as secondary care in a number of specialties.
Simon Fraser, Medical Director at King’s Dubai, added: “King’s Dubai will also export King’s London’s pioneering research and established expertise in distinguished practices, such as metabolic surgery, a procedure that is currently the closest to a Diabetes cure, and fetal medicine for yet to be born babies with complications, to name a few.”
These specialised treatments and all related disciplines will be incorporated in a holistic way at King’s College Hospital London, Dubai to provide the best quality care that is fully integrated and inherently connected with King’s College Hospital, London.