Serving the people away from home for three decades

AL AIN — The Oasis Hospital here plans to add a new dimension to patient care by starting Home Health and Community services.

By Lana Mahdi (Behind the Scenes)

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Published: Sat 29 Oct 2005, 10:24 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:03 PM

Dr Larry F. Liddle from the United States who joined the hospital way back in November 1975, told Khaleej Times that a major thrust will also be given to family medicine which is his speciality.

Physicians with this specialty have extensive training in treating the whole family from the youngest to the oldest member and are able handle at least 80 per cent of the family’s medical needs, he explained. This comprehensive approach with an emphasis on preventive care would help to maintain the reputation of the Oasis as the ‘family hospital of choice’ for Al Ain and the surrounding areas, he said.

Dr Liddle who has an impressive array of qualifications including MD and ABFP Consultant specialised in Family Practice, came from the USA to the Oasis Hospital with his wife and two children aged 3 and 5 in November 1975.

He recalled that the idea behind establishing the Oasis Hospital started with Shaikh Shakhboot and Shaikh Zayed’s concerns for the health of their people in the late 1950s. “They invited doctors Pat and Marian Kennedy, who were members of a charitable organisation similar to those in Muscat and Bahrain, to come and establish a hospital for their people,” said Dr Liddle.

At that time, there was a very high rate of maternal and infant mortality. Initially the people were hesitant about this new type of medicine. “But word quickly spread about the Kennedy’s kind manner and expert medical care, especially in the care of pregnant women and children,” he added.

He underlined that Oasis Hospital has been well known, particularly for maternity and paediatric care. “We have upgraded these areas and added other specialties in the last few years. Our obstetrics and gynaecology department is now fully equipped for laparoscopy (key hole surgery) and our anaesthesia department offers painless labour with epidural anaesthesia,” he assured. The Paediatric department boasts an upgraded Special Care Baby Unit.

“We now have an excellent General Surgery department that includes laparoscopy and endoscopy. In addition, we have a fully equipped Urology department. Other specialties include internal medicine, family medicine, endocrinology, pain control clinic and physical therapy,” he said.

Regarding Al Ain’s growth and development in three decades, he said that it was in 1975 that the emirates’ development had started. The main roads existed then but the downtown area was quite small and the land outside the city centre was still mostly undeveloped.

“We were most impressed with the people — their friendliness, their great hospitality and the closeness of the families,” recounted Dr Liddle.

Nevertheless, today, of course, Al Ain is much more developed and spread out and there is much more traffic, he said adding however, that “the people are much the same, although with the faster pace of life, it is harder to maintain the same degree of visiting and socializing as before”.

It is also very encouraging to see the younger generation being educated and taking responsible positions in the government and private sector, he remarked.

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