THE company which took over the private Health Care International

hospital at Clydebank six months ago has promised unlimited finance to

secure the future of the hospital until next year, it was revealed last


The promise came on the same day as an announcement from Abu Dhabi to

send around 80 patients a month to the hospital after a four-hour flying

visit by the son of the Crown Prince to HCI yesterday.

Mr Edward Burke, HCI's executive director of finance and operations,

revealed that #20m, invested by the Abu Dhabi Investment Company in the

hospital in February following its takeover of the running of HCI, had

been spent by the end of last month.

However, he said the company had now given an undertaking to finance

the hospital until next year. He said the hospital intended to continue

its recruitment drive and was planning to employ a further 12 doctors

and around 47 staff in the hospital and adjacent hotel.

''There was an initial infusion of finance when HCI was acquired. That

money was spent by the end of June. At this point, a commitment of

unlimited finance has been put into place based on the most conservative

patient flows.''

Mr Burke said the investment company had not put a ceiling on the

amount of cash it would invest in the hospital. He added that the cash

injection secured the future of the hospital until the end of 1996

regardless of the number of patients treated at the hospital.

Sheikh Sultan Ben Klafia Al-Nahyan, son of the Crown Prince of Abu

Dhabi, and an entourage of advisers from the crown prince's office were

taken on an extensive tour around some of the hospital's

state-of-the-art departments.

Afterwards the prince confirmed his office would be sending between 50

and 80 government-sponsored patients to the hospital every month,

starting immediately. He said there had been a perception among

potential patients in the United Arab Emirate state that HCI faced an

uncertain future but he hoped his country's support would change that


''I have seen a lot of hospitals but this is one of the best. We plan

to send patients to this hospital. We believe strongly that we will be

able to make a substantial contribution to the patient numbers required

by the hospital to break even in the next year.''

The Abu Dhabi Investment Company has links with the country's Abu

Dhabi Investment Authority and invited the prince to inspect HCI's

facilities several months ago. Yesterday, Mr Burke said the hospital had

just received 132 referrals from Abu Dhabi.

Over the last two weeks, the hospital's occupancy rate has run at

around 70%, with between 20 and 30 patients, mainly from Turkey, Egypt,

and Greece, given treatment at the hospital. Only 48 of the hospital's

260 beds have been opened.