Poorer sections of the cities have older facilities, which nevertheless offer acceptable services. Hospitals are listed in telephone directories and the yellow pages, and addresses can be found in tourist publications. When choosing a hospital, your best bet is to seek recommendations from colleagues and friends.
There are several different types of hospital, including public and private hospitals and military establishments. Some hospitals in the private sector are luxuriously appointed and could easily pass as five-star hotel accommodation. Their prices are at a similar level.
Most of Bahrain’s private hospitals have an out-patients’ department and an accident and emergency unit, although casualties are likely to be directed towards public hospitals by the emergency services, e.g. in the case of road accidents.
The term ‘ clinic’ is used to denote a general practitioner’s surgery.
There’s little overcrowding in hospitals and clinics in Bahrain, where hospitals and major clinics are open 24 hours a day and usually operate on a first come, first served basis. Arabic and English are widely spoken, English being frequently used in private hospitals, where many staff and most patients are foreign. Accommodation in private hospitals is generally in single rooms rather than wards, and parents can stay with their children. Facilities usually include such ‘luxuries’ as a television and radio in every room, a cafeteria, a mosque or prayer room and a library. Costs for accommodation vary considerably, according to whether a hospital is super-luxurious (i.e. with a large mosque and library) or more modest (i.e. with small ones). Treatment costs usually vary according to the standard of accommodation.
Salmaniya Hospital (Tel. 973-255 555) is the primary public hospital, while the American Mission Hospital (Tel. 973-253 447) and Bahrain International Hospital (Tel. 973-591 666) offer private treatment. State doctors sometimes refer patients to the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital (Tel. 973-663 366) for specialist treatment, particularly orthopaedic. Awali Hospital (Tel. 973-753 366) is mainly used by employees of the Bahrain Oil Company.