Huge task.Naseem Mohamad Almulla Image Credit: Sharmila Dhal/XPRESS

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) officials have urged expat families of long-stay patients in Rashid Hospital to accept them when they are ready for discharge and enable them to recover better in their home environments.

Naseem Mohamad Almulla, Acting Head of Case Management at Rashid Hospital, said on Tuesday that as many as 124 long-stay patients were reunited with their families in 2014, following painstaking efforts by DHA and other departments to trace them and ensure a smooth handover.

Long-stay patients are those who remain in hospital for three six months, with some continuing to stay on for years as their families do not come forward to take them home.

“In 2014, we had 145 long-stay patients. Today, we have only 21,” said Naseem, noting that the number keeps changing given the nature of trauma and the admissions received at Rashid Hospital.

Nawal Mohammed Abu Mustafa of the Case Management section said the long-stay patients belong to different nationalities. “Most of them are bedridden, some even in a coma. They are mainly cases of poly-trauma, hit injuries, stroke and accident victims.”

She said the hospital’s longest staying patient today is Villamor Titco Carreos, a 59-year-old Filipino, who was admitted on November 6, 2008 after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Another Arab tourist, who met with an accident, has also been with the hospital for seven years.