Hamad Medical Corp opens first PET-CT diagnosis and treatment centre in Qatar

A 2,500 metre square Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET-CT) centre for disease diagnosis and research has opened in Doha, Qatar, adjacent to the country’s National Centre for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), part of the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The centre will offer complete patient care ranging from diagnosis and assessment of treatment for cancer, cardiology and neurology patients and its cyclotron facility and radiochemistry laboratory are equipped to produce specialised radiopharmaceuticals.

Abdullah Bin Khaled Al Qahtani, the Minister of Public Health and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Health, who opened the centre, said: “We would like to congratulate HMC on the launch of this diagnostic centre, which is a great enhancement for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other ailments. The completion of this outstanding centre, from design to commissioning, within a span of one year has been a great achievement by all standards.”

DHCC launches new medical tourism guide

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) has launched its own edition of Patients Beyond Borders, a respected guide to international medical tourism. The publication is available in English and Arabic and aims to connect medical tourists with the healthcare offerings available in the integrated healthcare free zone. The reference guide also serves as a budget planner, providing many tips for selecting the safest and most cost-effective treatments.

Over the past six years, Patients Beyond Borders’ print and digital publications have helped thousands of healthcare consumers find the safest, most affordable options for medical procedures all over the world. The earlier editions of the guide have been generated for the Accredited Hospitals Association of Turkey, Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia, Korea Health Institute Development Institute, Taiwan Taskforce on Medical Travel, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Josef Woodman, healthcare travel expert and author of Patients Beyond Borders Dubai Healthcare City edition, said: “Centrally located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Dubai now boasts 25 American-accredited hospitals, facilities, and programmes. With its multicultural surroundings and accessible, convenient tourism infrastructure, Dubai Healthcare City is poised to become a leading medical travel destination for patients from the region and beyond.”

In another show of their commitment to boosting Dubai’s success as a medical tourism hub in the Middle East, DHCC participated at the European Medical Travel Conference 2012 in Berlin. Their presence was in partnership with Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, under the umbrella of the Dubai Medical Tourism Group. Dubai’s health tourism mandate is expected to generate over US$1.6 billion by the end of 2012. Dubai’s private sector investments in the healthcare sector have also increased by 12% to $8 billion in 2010-11.

Diabetes experts from Germany to manage new centre in Abu Dhabi

United Eastern Medical Services (UEMedical) healthcare investment and development company and its network of outpatient centres in Abu Dhabi (HealthPlus), has signed a partnership agreement with the Diabetes Zentrum Mergentheim (DZM) from Germany in an effort to transform diabetes care and treatment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. DZM will be responsible for the management of the new AED11.5 million HealthPlus Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, which will open in Abu Dhabi in the third quarter of 2012. Mohamad Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, managing director and CEO of UEMedical, said that they are expecting 2,500 new patients every year at the new centre.

New cardiac care unit in Egypt

The Memorial Souad Kafafi Medical Center (MSKMC) in Egypt, has opened a seven-bed specialised unit for high-risk cardiac patients. MSKMC is part of the network of the American Hospital Management Company and was formally known as the Misr University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital.

The department also provides Echocardiography for both pediatric and adult cases as well as an echo stress test. Other noninvasive services performed in the department include Exercise Stress Tests, Electrocardiographs, 24-hour Holter Monitoring to detect cardiac arrythmias, and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Dr Ahmed ElBarbary, director of cardiology, said: “The new unit is a cornerstone of the new hospital’s services and we look forward to making this a Centre of Excellence in Cardiology at MSKMC.”

The unit is part of a more comprehensive cardiovascular department, including two new cardiac catheterization labs.

MSKMC is currently undergoing a transformation, which includes expanding its capacity from 103 to over 250 beds.

Mubadala Healthcare and Dubai Health Authority sign MoU

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Healthcare (a business unit of Mubadala Development Company) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to discuss several key collaboration areas that will facilitate knowledge- sharing, partnership initiatives and improved access to care for patients in Dubai.

The initial areas for collaboration relate specifically to three of Mubadala Healthcare’s facilities – Wooridul Spine Centre, Tawam Molecular Imaging Centre and National Reference Laboratory – and focus on the facilitation of patient and laboratory test referrals, knowledge exchange and the inclusion of these facilities in the Government of Dubai’s Enaya network.

In addition, the MoU outlines the intention of the two organisations to share and exchange technical support, medical equipment and provision of consultation facilities when possible. This includes the opportunity for Wooridul Spine Centre’s surgical team to utilise the operating theatre facilities at Rashid Hospital when required.

National Reference Laboratory, a business established by Mubadala Healthcare to deliver high-quality medical diagnostic testing services, has two laboratory facilities – one in Dubai’s biotechnology and research park (DuBiotech) and the main hub facility in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi. It was created in partnership with and is operated by Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), and its goal is to help improve the breadth, coverage and efficiency of laboratory testing in the UAE.

The DHA and Mubadala Healthcare outlined their intention to explore the use of National Reference Laboratory for DHA laboratory testing. The two organisations then signed a separate three-year agreement for Dubai Health Authority to use National Reference Laboratory as an official referral lab for specialised tests.

Enaya provides a broad range of medical insurance coverage including treatment for almost all types of ailments. Preventative treatment is also covered along with routine health check-ups. The program encompasses 39 government-owned departments with more than 90,000 beneficiaries, including Dubai Government employees and their families.

Imperial College London Diabetes Centre opens in Al Ain

Following the establishment of an Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) in Abu Dhabi in 2006 and a partnership agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Healthcare, a second centre has opened in Al Ain.

More than 10,000 patients per month are being seen at the two centres. Since becoming operational in September last year, ICLDC’s Al Ain facility has already received two endorsements from the Joint Commission International (JCI) – the JCI Certification in the Clinical Care Program for Diabetes Management and the JCI Accreditation in Ambulatory Care, both held by ICLDC’s Abu Dhabi facility since 2009 and 2010, respectively.

National Reference Laboratory receives top accreditation

National Reference Laboratory’s lab in DuBiotech, Dubai, has been awarded accreditation by the Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP), based on the results of a recent onsite inspection. It is now one of only 10 CAP accredited laboratories in the United Arab Emirates and the only independent laboratory in the UAE to hold both CAP and ISO 151892 accreditations.

The Abu Dhabi regional hub laboratory, which opened at the end of last year, will also seek accreditation later this year.

Philips teams up with Omani MoH

Royal Philips Electronics and Mustafa Sultan Science & Industry, in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Oman, stationed a mobile MicroDose mammography unit at the Wattayah Women’s Polyclinic in Muscat for 18 days in June. With a team of professional radiologists and medical practitioners supported by the Ministry, the initiative offered free mammograms to women above the age of 40 while also educating them about breast cancer and the importance of its early detection and prevention.

Dr Fatma Tufail, senior consultant radiologist for Women’s Imaging at Khoula Hospital, Ministry of Health Oman, said: “Undergoing mammography screening on a larger segment of population at a regional level will encourage the majority of the women to benefit from the advanced technologies available today to fight against breast cancer.”

Launched during the Arab Health expo this year in Dubai, the mobile unit was developed as part of the ‘Healthy Women, Healthy Families’ road show that entails different initiatives as part of Philips’ commitment to women’s health and preventative care.

1500 enrol for Gulf ACS study

On May 15, the Gulf COAST Registry announced that they had 1,500 patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS) enrolled in their study, which will assess the incidence, risk factors and treatment of ACS across the GCC. The study aims to follow 4,000 patients from across 35 hospitals in the region, admitted with a diagnosis of ACS. Gulf COAST will track each patient enrolled in the study, from the time they are admitted to the hospital, through discharge and beyond, for up to one year.

Dr Abdulla Shehab, UAE Gulf COAST coordinator and vice president of the Emirates Cardiac Society, said: “The Gulf COAST registry is an important step for both the UAE and the region. Heart disease disproportionately affects our region, with the average age of acute coronary syndrome patients across the Middle East a decade younger compared with the West, and this study will help us understand why. While significant global data exist, we don’t have the data necessary to better understand and address the needs of our own citizens suffering with ACS.”

Abu Dhabi signs service deals with 4 Korean medical centres

The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulatory body of the health care sector in Abu Dhabi, has signed hospital service agreements with four Korean medical centres – namely: CHA Gangnam Medical Center, EWHA Woman’s University Medical Center, Severance Hospital and Wooridul Hospital.

The agreements aim to raise the quality of healthcare services in Abu Dhabi through the exchange of knowledge and expertise and improvement of qualifications.

The Korean healthcare sector has witnessed remarkable development in the past few years, which is reflected in the number of international patients admitted to Korean hospitals during 2011, which increased 91% from the year before.

Specialist at Al Ain hospital awarded by US clinical research association

Dr Satish Chandra-Nair, senior specialist and head of clinical research at Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE, has been honoured by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) in the US in the category Outstanding Chapter outside North America. The award recognises Dr Chandra’s contribution to the ACRP Gulf Cooperation Council, which he has chaired since its founding in 2007.

Dr Chandra said: “I dedicate this award to all those who are not afraid to dream, and to those who enjoy taking the ‘road less travelled’.”

This award recognises an individual who made exceptional leadership/practice contributions, enhance public's understanding of clinical research, participation in studies, and to the advancement of the profession that has furthered the vision of the clinical research enterprise.

Qatar’s Sidra Medical Center partners with Philips

Royal Philips Electronics and Sidra Medical and Research Center have announced a long-term partnership, in which Philips will provide comprehensive technology solutions for the medical and research institution, which focuses on the health and wellbeing of women and children, with terms and conditions agreed for the next 10 years.

Philips will provide their fully-integrated IntelliSpace Picture Archival and Communication System (PACS), which stores patients’ information in multiple data centres and will be available at point of care within three seconds. The servers feature enormous expansion capacity, are fail and disaster-proof with full redundancy. This fits Sidra’s goal of operating as a fully wireless, filmless and virtually paperless facility. Sidra will be an alldigital facility, incorporating the most advanced IT applications in all clinical, research and business functions.

Diederik Zeven, general manager of Philips Healthcare Middle East and Turkey, said: “Sidra is one of the most exciting new developments in healthcare, not just in the Gulf region, but the world. We regard this project very highly, and we’re very pleased to not only be providing our ground-breaking healthcare imaging products, but also to be partnering with Sidra with the goal of advancing the field even further and discovering new opportunities that await us in the future.”

Daniel J. Bergin, Sidra’s executive project director highlighted a critical component of the Philips solution, which is the provision of a Vendor Neutral Archive where all patient images will be stored, enabling clinicians to seamlessly retrieve and review the medical imaging component of the patient’s Electronic Health Record.

Iraqi delegation visits WHO EMRO

A high-level Iraqi delegation, headed by Dr Liqa Al-Yassin, chair of the Health and Environment Committee of the Iraqi Parliament visited the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cairo for a two-day workshop on health system strengthening. EMRO’s director, Dr Ala Alwan, received the 25 members of the delegation and stressed the role of the Iraqi parliament in making the shift towards a modern healthcare system. He also confirmed WHO’s commitment to provide Iraq with support on this and drew attention to the issue of non-communicable diseases.

NAAMA donates ambulances to Syrian Arab Red Crescent

The National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) and the NAAMA Foundation have donated two newlyequipped ambulances the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in Damascus.

Since the outbreak of the violent uprising in Syria over a year ago, NAAMA has been seeking effective humanitarian aid that would be allowed into the country.

Dr Aziz Shaibani, president of NAAMA, said: “NAAMA recognises that so much more equipment and medical supplies are needed in the areas affected by violence. These ambulances are but our first tangible outreach.”

New treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients

MSD announced the launch of a new hepatitis C treatment that could provide relief to thousands of UAE citizens suffering from the disease. Up to 2% of the UAE population suffers from hepatitis C, with many of them failing to be successfully treated by the current standard therapy.

Specifically designed to address this portion of the UAE population, Victrelis is the first in a new class of medications that focuses on the treatment of chronic hepatitis C and is specifically indicated in adult patients who have compensated liver disease, who have not received treatment for the disease previously or who have not achieved success in previous treatment therapies.

UAE is the first country in the Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa Region in which Victrelis has been registered as it was fast tracked by the UAE government as part of their efforts to make this medicine available to its people. Kuwait is expected to follow soon as are other countries in the Gulf and the Middle East.

Andrew Miles, managing director, MSD Gulf region, said: “Every year, over 800,000 people in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are newly diagnosed with hepatitis C. In the UAE estimates suggest that as many as 14 out of every 100,000 suffers from hepatitis C, with rates at their highest in Abu Dhabi, where incidence could be as much as 23 out of every 100,000 people.”

JCI accreditation for Starcare Hospital, Muscat

Starcare Hospital in Muscat has achieved accreditation from Joint Commission International, USA, within its first year of opening. Starcare is the first hospital in the Sultanate to achieve JCI accreditation in the first year of opening.

Methodist International, KFSH&RC sign MOU

Methodist International, the global subsidiary of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, USA and King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH&RC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to improve patient care through a series of programmes, including clinical collaboration, education and training, advisory services, nursing services, and a second opinion programme.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed March 28, 2012, Methodist International and KFSH&RC will focus on improving patient safety, management, and the quality of health care delivery in order to provide the best experience for patients.

Dr Qasim Al Qasabi, CEO of KFSH&RC, said the joint agreement will open opportunities for improvement of patient care through the exchange of knowledge and skills between the two organisations.

Dr Sarper Tanli, executive director of Methodist International, EMEA said: ‘’We are very happy to extend our collaboration with KFSH&RC. Both institutions have a great vision to improve patient care and achieve the highest standards of medical excellence for the benefit of our community.”

Libyan MoH in talks with DHCC

A high-ranking delegation from the Libyan Ministry of Health visited Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) to raise awareness about the status of the Libyan healthcare sector and engage in dialogue with healthcare institutions in the UAE. The visiting officials hosted a seminar on ‘Opportunities in the Libyan Healthcare Sector’ to highlight the revolution’s impact on healthcare services in the country and underline the requirements that were urgently needed for rebuilding the system. The DHCC team offered the delegation a tour of the healthcare park and provided a brief outline of the history, vision and achievements of the free zone.

Arab Hygiene Council launched

Reckitt Benckiser Arabia launched the ‘Arab Hygiene Council’ at meeting in Dubai in May. The council is comprised of healthcare officials from across the region who will work to develop and improve hygiene standards across the Middle East by bringing together key opinion leaders and decision makers on a common platform.

Elaborating on the role of the Arab Hygiene Council, Frank M. Koch, Marketing Director, Middle East - Reckitt Benckiser said: “The launch of the Arab Hygiene Council is a milestone towards achieving our objective of building healthier communities across Middle East. We look forward to working in conjunction with healthcare and government officials from the region to recommend and implement specific hygiene guidelines for hospitals, clinics, day care, and schools.”

“Dettol, one of the power brands of Reckitt Benckiser, will play a significant role in promoting the Arab Hygiene Council’s hygiene guidelines by sponsoring various education programmes across the region,” he added.

Reiterating the importance of hygiene, Professor John Oxford – Chairman of the Hygiene Council and Professor of Virology at Queen Mary College, University of London said: “Poor hygiene has been a contributory factor in the global spread of pathogens such as norovirus, Helicobacter pylori, Staphylococcus aureus, Legionella and Campylobacter. Hygiene is therefore important as a first line defence against the spread of pathogens in people’s everyday environments. We must make the time to protect ourselves and our families by practicing simple hygiene measures such as washing your hands with soap after going to the toilet and before preparing food to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.”


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