Shaikh Mohammed Al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development, (C) touring the new Masarra Hospital after formal opening on sunday. Alkso seen is Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, (R). Image Oman News Agency Image Credit:

Muscat: With the scourge of narcotics on the rise in Oman, the Ministry of Health has plans to convert Ibn Sina Hospital into a National Centre for Rehabilitating Drug Addicts, according to Dr Mohammad Al Hosni, Undersecretary at the ministry.

Until the opening of Al Masarra Hospital on Sunday, the 60-bed Ibn Sina was the only in-patient psychiatry hospital in the country. The hospital treated patients with serious mental and psychiatric problems.

The new Masarra Hospital is built on a 60,000 square metre area in the Amarat suburb of Muscat at a cost of around 49 million Omani riyals (Dh466.10 million). Shaikh Mohammad Al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development, opened the new hospital on Sunday.

Al Hosni explained that the new hospital will play a key role in rehabilitating patients.

The hospital has 245 beds distributed in 10 suites for men, women and children in addition to sections for psychological addictions such as those to alcohol and criminal addictions such as those drugs.

The total area of the hospital is built according to standards used in modern hospitals and provides qualitative changes in health services, diagnostic and therapeutic services in the field of psychological and behavioural medicine, rehabilitation and emergency services.

The hospital has an external clinic, a clinic for addiction, an emergency unit, X-ray facilities, a laboratory, an electric brain graph unit, a day-care unit, an administration, admission suites, an electrical shocks unit, public services and other facilities.

Masarra Hospital will treat neuropathic and psychological cases and drug addiction along with emergency services from all parts of the Sultanate.