The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has launched a Paediatric Open-Heart Surgery service at Al Qassimi Hospital for Women and Children in Sharjah, as part of its vision to provide a comprehensive and innovative health services.
The newly launched service is the fruit of development projects developed based on international medical and quality standards and as part of the ministry's strategy.
The ministry stressed that the service will meet the growing need for paediatric heart surgery, especially after hiring a specialised team of experts and doctors, who were hand-picked from an elite group of doctors and consultants with long experience in dealing with complex cases.
The team includes a consultant cardiologist, cardiologist, anaesthesiologist, intensive care consultant, perfusionist, and 10 nursing staff specialized in paediatric open-heart surgery in both the operation room or intensive care unit.
The new service covers all paediatric open-heart operations such as atrial septal defect, complex operations, heart defects, as well as single ventricle defects and left ventricular reconstruction, which require immediate surgery after the birth of the fetus.
Improving Patient Safety
Dr. Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of Hospitals Administration, MoHAP, stressed that the ministry is always keen to improve the health and safety of patients in line with its strategy aiming to provide innovative, word-class, quality and comprehensive services that meet the quality standards and achieve excellence at the ministry’s hospitals.
We aim to offer UAE citizens and residents the best services in accordance with the best international practices to improve the quality of health services and patient safety, Al Baloushi said.
“The ministry is doing its utmost to provide unparalleled services in the field of open heart surgery and aims to cover all surgical cases, whether for citizens or residents” she underlined.
Comprehensive Heat Treatment
Dr Safia Al-Khaja, Director General of Al Qassimi Hospital for Women and Children, reiterated that the hospital’s new service will underpin the level of services the ministry is offering to Sharjah and northern emirates residents, adding that paediatric open-heart surgery service was first made available in January 2019, through the Visiting Consultant Programme.
Interestingly, Al Qassimi Hospital has dedicated a full team and contracted with an elite of group of doctors and consultants with hands-on experience from the world’s biggest and most prestigious medical centre specialized in paediatric open heart surgery, Al-Khaja said.
She added that the team is now operating at the hospital and works on diagnosing surgical cases to take necessary medical measures and is conducting operations according to a calculated plan and the best techniques and global practices.
30 Successful Open-Heart Surgeries
Dr. Ahmed Al-Kamali, Director of the Cardiology Centre at the Hospital, said that the department has so far conducted more than 30 successful open-heart surgeries for children, many of which are rare.
Al-Kamali noted that the medical staff is following the latest international standards applied in the field of paediatric open-heart surgery, and is not only using modern surgical techniques, but also focusing on the patient condition outside the operation room. We are carefully following up on all cases to ensure patients will not need artificial respirator immediately after surgery, which provides a shorter stay at the intensive care unit and reduce the treatment costs.
“Thanks to this service, relatives of the patient can visit and interact with the child after the surgery at the ICU, which will positively reflect on the child and the family, adding that the centres that adopt such medical practices are very few in the world” Al-Kamali said.
The paediatric open-heart surgery team is always on standby to receive and deal with emergency cases of new-borns, which require quick intervention be it the child is born in the hospital or any of the ministry’s hospitals in the northern Emirates. This is all to achieve the goals of the hospital, to record 0% of cases transferred outside the country while maintaining the quality of services provided at reasonable costs to residents.