Time: April 24, 2018
Surpassing regional and international standards, Saudi German Hospital UAE is on a quest to make quality healthcare accessible for all
Saudi German Hospital UAE has always been a cut above the rest. Pioneers in creating benchmarks and envisioning expansion through a chain of hospitals, CEO Dr. Reem Osman credits their competitive edge as being a part of a mammoth group, which has a widespread footprint in the GCC. With hospitals in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen, Saudi German Hospital’s latest foray has been in Pakistan with the announcement of their 150-300 bed hospital in each Bahria Town development, starting with Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in the first stage. Saudi German Hospital’s vision encapsulates quality healthcare, international standards and accessibility being key instigators in their expansion plan. “At Saudi German Hospital UAE we maintain the highest level of quality through international accreditations. We have the highest number of accreditations in the UAE, which is why local and international patients trust our abilities and us,” says the CEO.
The UAE’s stance on healthcare involves stringent regulations, with the JCI accreditation being mandatory for all hospitals.
“At Saudi German Hospital UAE we strive to be the best, therefore from 30 years our rigorous internal criteria has been setting the standards for our team in tandem with the UAE’s guidelines. We have our own team from our group conducting quality related surveys every quarter. In addition, our labs are CAP accredited, and we have taken the next step with JCI’s sub speciality accreditation, CCPC for our cardiology centre and treatment of acute myocardial infarction.”
One of the key factors of Saudi German Hospital UAE receiving such high standards is accessibility. “Our founder, Sobhi Baterjee’s vision was to create a culture in the hospital where doctors are reachable. The role of a healthcare provider is a serious responsibility, with every minute being significant in saving a patient’s life. Therefore, all our specialists, nurses and staff are living in our hospital accommodation, in close proximity, for if there were an emergency, they can reach the respective hospital immediately. Accessibility is pivotal in saving lives and ensures that patients are the priority,” she explains.
Saudi German Hospital UAE emphasises that correlation between teams is crucial in emergencies where patients suffer from strokes or heart attacks. “Time is vital; a patient can be paralysed if not treated at the right moment, teams need to work cohesively to provide the best service to the patient. At Saudi German, we have broken the international records numerous times, by assessing patients who complained about chest pain in under 50 minutes. In addition, we wish to set an example when it comes to raising awareness by educating our patients. We support international awareness days, such as prostate and breast cancer-screening programmes. To turn a blind eye towards your health can be fatal, and we encourage our patients through these campaigns to be regularly tested. Many patients are unaware of the new developments in healthcare; routine tests can identify their predicament before it escalates. Diabetes patients must do a routine check-up, which involves a retina scan to detect eye disease early for further evaluation and treatment. It is crucial to discuss these preventive measures with patients through events and programmes to raise awareness.”
Saudi German Hospital UAE hopes to set an example through their charity endeavours in the region. “In healthcare you cannot overlook your responsibility of setting an example through philanthropy, the hospitals mainly can raise awareness, as we have access to quality healthcare facilities and top doctors in the region. With the right contacts, we collaborate with charity organisations and government institutions. At Saudi German, we take our CSR initiatives very seriously, whether it is an external outreach programme or internal awareness campaigns,” emphasises the CEO.
Facilitating Medical Tourism
According to reports published by the DHA, the Dubai Medical Tourism industry generated more than Dh1.4 billion for the emirate in 2016. The city received 326,649 medical tourists, representing an increase of 9.5 per cent over the previous year, with non-invasive cosmetic procedures being one of the main attractions for health tourism in Dubai.
Saudi’s German opened their very own plastic surgery centre in 2016, aligning themselves with Dubai Health Authority’s vision and strategy. “Presently, the healthcare sector in Dubai is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to turn Dubai into a medical tourism hub. At Saudi German Hospital UAE, we are one of the largest hospitals in the city working closely with the authorities on this subject. By 2020, the city is expected to have 500,000 medical tourist patients. To facilitate this demand, we have added plastic surgery to our offerings, as it is one of the most sought after services. Usually plastic surgery is not a service provided by tertiary hospitals, however since adding it to our offerings, there has been a positive response from the medical tourism authorities. We are ensuring that we have the human capital and capacity to receive the expected number of patients, as our goal is to serve all residents and our medical tourism patients.”
Providing high standards of healthcare in the region
Comprehensive packages are arranged for the patients, which include medical, surgical, health checks and logistic assistance. This includes arranging the patient’s visa to enter the country, transportation and accommodation. We consider the medical tourism patient as our guest and we take care of them before they arrive, during their stay and after the completion of their treatment with follow-ups, which is a major factor in the success of medical tourism,” she says.
However, with many UAE residents living fast-paced lifestyles, Dr. Reem feels that healthcare providers should be prepared for the ramifications. “Specialists are already witnessing the changes such as chronic diseases, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. This increases the need for rehabilitation services where patients can recuperate. We believe in raising our standards so that patients no longer have to seek treatment outside the region, critical and terminal cases are referred to Saudi German Hospital UAE, and we have international patients who travel from Singapore, Thailand and the US to continue their treatment journey over here. At Saudi German Hospital UAE, impossible is a word, which does not exist. We are a tertiary hospital and our level of service meets both regional and international standards.”
For Saudi German Hospital UAE, the next step is to have a healthcare city by 2020. “We aim to have four extra sub speciality hospitals around the general hospitals which is related to orthopaedic, women, children and long-term facilities. By 2020 we will have 700 bed healthcare city in the campus of Saudi German,” she concludes.