Cancer Center expansion doubles capacity
East Health speaks to Dr Asem Mansour, CEO/Director General,
King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman about the hospital, their care for
Syrian refugees and center’s new extension.
Middle East Health: Do you
receive foreign patients at the hospital?
Dr Asem Mansour:
Yes, KHCC treats patients from almost 20 different Arabic countries. However,
its focus, during the last period, was dedicated to many underprivileged
patients coming from conflict countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Syria,
Yemen and Sudan who would not otherwise be able to receive the life-saving
cancer treatment they need.
MEH: What percentage of your
inpatients are they?
Dr Asem Mansour:
Foreign patients make approximately 27% from total KHCC inpatients
MEH: Which procedures are
they mostly seeking?
Dr Asem Mansour:
They are seeking a comprehensive state-of-the-art treatment within awide
range of procedures covering areas from consultation and second opinion,
to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, which are not available in their countries,
up to complex procedures in terms of complicated operations and Bone Marrow
MEH: Why do they choose this
Dr Asem Mansour: There are many reasons: – We provide comprehensive
cancer care: covering all medical specialties – Our multidisciplinary
approach in offering medical decisions which are taken by a full team
of physicians based on an in-depth study of each case individually – Patients
are able to obtain direct consultation from the largest cancer treatment
centers in the world – Treatment focuses on the individual needs of each
patient including: dedicated areas for children and women, family halls
and others – Our convenient location and availability of accommodation
at reasonable cost is attractive – There is an ease of communication in
Arabic, which is spoken fluently by all staff – There is cultural convergence
with regards dietary habits, language, religious beliefs – Our medical
care costs are very reasonable medical compared to other hospitals within
the EU and the USA
MEH: Is the hospital engaging
in any specific marketing to attract foreign patients?
Dr Asem Mansour:
The KHCC is currently serving patients in Jordan and the Middle East region.
However, and due to the full capacity rate that the center hascontinuously
experienced in the previous years, it did not engage in any specific marketing
strategies for the attraction of foreign patients. Now that the expansion
is complete, we will be looking into possible marketing strategies that
would assist in the attraction of foreign patients. The center’s excellent
reputation and its continuous efforts to improve its quality of health
care and services is what makes most of the patients seek treatment at
KHCC. And now that the capacity has doubled, hopefully, we will be able
to take more patients in, whether from Jordan or the region, and significantly
reduce the referral refusal cases.
Is the hospital providing assistance to Syrian refugees?
Dr Asem Mansour:
Actually, KHCC has provided and continues to provide assistance to cancer
patients from the Syrian refugees in the scattered camps in Jordan. KHCC
has set up a voluntary Fund to cover the treatment of Syrian refugees.
Most donations come from individuals (wealthy donors) or organizations
from Jordan and abroad, but still insufficient. KHCC provided the necessary
assistance and treatment to about 400 Syrian refugees, which cost the
center US$12 million.
MEH: What type of assistance
are you providing?
Dr Asem Mansour:
– Comprehensive treatment – Financial support for free accommodation,
transportation, logistics, etc. – Psychosocial support – Inclusion of
pediatric patients in a “Back to School” program in order for them not
to miss their right to continue learning while receiving their treatments
MEH: Have there been any recent
developments at the hospital that you can tell us about?
Dr Asem Mansour:
The King Hussein Cancer Center’s recent development is its expansion.
This expansion consists of two new towers; one for inpatients and the
other for outpatients which will lead to doubling the capacity of the
existing Center and providing improved and integrated space for patient
care, research and education. These new cutting-edge facilities will enable
us to become the main medical hub in the Middle East for comprehensive
cancer treatment and care. The 13-floor Inpatient Tower includes:
- 179 additional patient beds (single
- An expanded Diagnostic Imaging
and Radiotherapy Unit
- An expanded Bone Marrow Transplantation
- Adult and Pediatric Specialty
- Floors specifically dedicated
to pediatric patient wards
- Floors specifically dedicated
to adult patient wards
In addition to specialized outpatient
clinics, the 10-floor Outpatient Building will have:
- The first public cord bank in
- The Khalid Shoman Educational Center
and Auditorium. This comprehensive educational center will include a
skills lab, seminar rooms, a physician’s library and a social interactive
- Dedicated spaces for women and
children, including a Women’s Health Center and an extensive pediatric
section to cope with the rising number of pediatric cancer cases.
- A cutting- edge Cell Therapy and
Applied Genomics Department, including state-of-the-art stem cell labs
to raise the research capacity of the Center
The new expansion will allow us to
offer double the amount of bone marrow transplants to meet the rise in
demand for treatment. In addition, the new expansion will house more ICUs
so that we can continue to offer highly specialized, around-theclock care.
The fight against cancer needs
your support. You can donate, volunteer and provide support in numerous
ways. To find out more about this, visit:
Specialty Hospital in Jordan, one of the top 10
hospitals in medical tourism worldwide
Middle East Health: Please
give us a brief about the Specialty Hospital in Jordan.
Eng. Shereen Abu Manneh - Head of Marketing and Business Development:
The Specialty Hospital is a leading private teaching hospital, located
in Amman - Jordan. It is fully equipped to provide a full range of in-patient
and outpatient diagnostic, therapeutic medical and surgical procedures.
Its capacity is 265 beds, with 1000 qualifi ed employees and serves 750
consultants who are dedicated to provide high quality care to our patients.
During the past 24 years the hospital
has provided the highest quality care to more than 4.4 million patients,
including 460,000 in-patient admissions, 920,000 ER visits and 172,000
operations for patients.
MEH: Do you receive foreign
patients at the Specialty Hospital?
S.A.M.: Yes, the Specialty Hospital is well known in
the region for treating foreign patients. We receive patients from more
than 50 countries. Specialty Hospital is the fi rst and only hospital
in Jordan to achieve the Medical Tourism Certifi cation from MTQUA. Recently
the Specialty Hospital was ranked in the top 10 hospitals for medical
MEH: Do you have a special
department for foreign patients?
S.A.M.: There is an International Office dedicated to
facilitate treatment of foreign patients. The offi ce connects patients
with the specialist prior to the patient’s travel. The specialist will
give initial diagnosis and a treatment plan with the length of stay and
the estimated cost of treatment.
This office assists foreign patients
with the issuing of visas, if required, transportation, accommodation,
flight reservation, airport pick-up, admission and treatment, until the
patient is discharged. They also provide and a tour of Jordan at the request
of patients and their companions. The staff at the International Office
will follow up with patients after they have returned to their country.
MEH: Which countries do they
come from? And what procedures do they seek?
S.A.M.: Most foreign patients come from the GCC countries
and from Iraq, Palestine, Oman, Sudan, Chad and other countries.
Medical tourists mainly seek major
surgeries at the Specialty Hospital including cardiac, pediatric cardiac,
bariatric surgeries, kidney transplant, orthopedic, dental surgeries,
IVF and other sophisticated procedures. In addition to that some choose
to come for medical checkups.
MEH: Why do they choose Specialty
S.A.M.: The Specialty Hospital provides full range of
procedures by highly qualifi ed staff and using the latest technology;
it was the fi rst hospital in Jordan to provide Hyper- Baric Oxygen therapy
and MRI 3 Tesla. And recently the radiology department expanded to have
the fi rst CT 512 slices in Jordan and the fi rst Silent MRI.
In addition to having no waiting time,
patients also receive high quality care since. The Specialty Hospital
is one of the most awarded and accredited hospitals internationally. It
is accredited by The Joint Commission International (JCIA) for three times,
and accredited 3 times by the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC).
Specialty Hospital is the fi rst and only hospital in Jordan to achieve
the Medical Tourism Certification from MTQUA and was ranked from the top
10 hospitals in medical tourism worldwide.
Also the Specialty Hospital is first
and only hospital to achieve King Abdullah II Award for Excellence for
two consecutive cycles. In 2012 the hospital was awarded by Arabia500
for being from the top 500 companies in the growth rate in the past 3
years in the region. The hospital commitment to social responsibility
to serve the local and the neighboring community was crowned by receiving
CSR Arabia Award.
In addition to; MECCAward, Prince
Faisal Award, ISO 9001, Occupational Health and Safety OHSAS 18001, Environmental
Safety ISO14001, Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Points HACCP
for food safety, and quality management system for medical laboratories
ISO 15189. In addition to all of that the Specialty Hospital was recognized
from the Arab Hospitals Federation as The Best Hospital in The Arab World
in Patient Centered Care.
patients with advanced medical expertise
has achieved great strides in the medical tourism industry over the past
several years. Serving as a safe haven in the region, the kingdom is considered
the number one medical tourism destination in the MENA region. Middle
East Health spoke to Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri, Chairman of
the Private Hospitals Association of Jordan, about the association and
medical tourism in Jordan. Dr Al-Hammouri is Honorary President of the
Global Healthcare Travel Council and a key player in the medical tourism
sector in the region.
Middle East Health: What is
the role of the Private Hospitals Association in promoting Jordan as a
medical tourism destination?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: The Private Hospitals Association
(PHA), was established in 1984 to represent the country’s private hospitals
and raise their reputation. PHA works diligently to promote and defend
the rights of Jordan’s private hospitals. Due to Jordan’s high reputation
as a medical tourism hub, we have been invited to present Jordan’s ‘success
story’ in many medical tourism conferences and forums internationally,
where we have shared our experience and journey with other emerging medical
MEH: Why is Jordan attractive
to foreign patients?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: With no less than 65 private hospitals,
many boasting cutting edge facilities and first-rate physicians, Jordan
is considered in the top league in the global medical tourism market.
Since the early seventies Jordan has
been regarded as a pioneer for performing many medical procedures in the
Arab world for the first time. These achievements have made Jordan well
known for its medical expertise and an attractive destination for foreign
Jordanian physicians and surgeons
have a very good reputation. The Jordanian Government decided that education
and investment in its human capital will be the way to build the future
of our country, so youwill fi nd that Jordan leads the region in the number
of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and engineers per capita. For example,
Jordan has 29 physicians and 33 nurses and 16 pharmacists per 10,000 population.
We also invested in scholarships for our doctors to get post graduate
training and certifi cates from USA, UK, Canada, Germany and many other
There is also a positive investment
environment in Jordan, which has led to the private sector building hospitals.
More than 60% of hospitals in Jordan are private, and they are well equipped
with the latest medical technology. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
are now easily available for patients at low cost with no waiting time
and without compromising the quality of care, which is crucial for travelling
Our hospitals apply international
quality standards. At present, 10 Jordanian hospitals are accredited by
the Joint Commission International (JCI), with many others in the process
of obtaining this accreditation and 25 hospitals are accredited by the
Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC).
Jordan boasts significant
expertise in a variety of medical specialties such as kidney transplant,
bone marrow transplant, oncology, paediatrics, geriatrics, cardiac surgery,
orthopaedic procedures, cosmetic surgery, dental procedures, IVF, psychiatry
and drug addiction, to name a few.
Jordan has certain characteristics
that favour it as a medical tourism destination, such as a high level
of security and stability compared to other countries in the region.
Jordan’s climate is another attractive
point as in most days of the year the weather is moderate, in addition
to that Jordan has numerous tourist attractions and archaeological sites,
several of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the historic
city of Petra. Jordan had the largest natural spa on earth which is the
Dead Sea the lowest point on earth, which has healing powers for many
diseases such as psoriasis and pulmonary diseases.
MEH: Can you tell us about
some of the achievements of the Private Hospitals Association?
Dr Fawzi Al-Hammouri: We at PHA are keen to keep Jordan
as the number one medical tourism destination in the MENA region. As a
result, Jordan manages to attract 250,000 international patients annually,
with revenue of more than $1.2 billion. Those patients come from 62 countries,
mainly from the traditional markets such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen,
Sudan, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Bahrain, Oman and United Arab Emirates,
in addition to few non-traditional markets such as the USA, Kazakhstan,
Ukraine, Russia, Chad and Nigeria. On the back of PHA initiatives, Jordan
was awarded: The Destination of The Year 2014 by International Medical
Travel Journal (IMTJ). In October 2015, I was elected as the president
of the Global Healthcare Travel Council for two years.