Doha, 5 January, 2019: Work is underway by Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Department of Surgery to establish a specialized surgery center for patients undergoing surgery in the former Women’s Hospital building.
Phase one of the three phase relocation process has already begun with the move of general and craino maxillofacial surgery patients to the facility. When the relocation process is complete, 285 new beds are expected to be made available for surgical patients.
The establishment of the new specialized surgical facility is expected to lead to an increase in the number of surgeries performed, reducing wait times and increasing access to specialized surgical care.
Last month, 86 patients from the Department of Surgery’s inpatient unit at Hamad General Hospital were transferred to the 5th and 6th floors of the former Women’s Hospital. Remaining patients at the inpatient unit will be transferred to the new Surgical Specialty Center in the coming months as renovations of the facility are completed.
Dr. Mohamed El Akkad, Vice Chair of Surgery at HMC, said completion of the first phase of the new Surgical Specialty Center was the culmination of many months of planning and preparation on the part of a large number of clinical and administrative staff.
“The transfer of these first patients to our new facility was completed after many months of planning and preparation. We met regularly for approximately three months and discussed all possible scenarios. Our ultimate goal was to ensure the safe and comfortable transfer of patients to the new unit,” said Dr. El Akkad.
“The second and third phases of the opening of the new Specialized Surgery Center will involve the transfer of outpatient clinics and operating rooms and is expected to be completed by mid and late 2019 respectively. The final phase of the transition will be completed by 2020 and will involve the completion of renovation and maintenance work on the ground floor, the remainder of the hospital floors, and the exterior of the building,” added Dr. El Akkad.
Dr. El Akkad noted that there are also plans to establish a special unit for the rapid assessment of surgical patients as part of the emergency care service. He says this new unit will reduce unnecessary admissions and improve the acute care surgical service. He says the unit will have the latest equipment and will be staffed by clinical teams trained in the rapid assessment and treatment of a variety of conditions that require surgical intervention.
Dr. Moustafa Khalil, Senior Consultant and Head of the Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery Department, said the establishment of the new Surgical Specialty Center will significantly increase the capacity of his department to provide care to patients who require head and neck surgery. He said in addition to increasing the number of beds available to patients and reducing wait times, the new facility will streamline how care is provided to patients.
“This repurposed space will provide a dedicated center for the rapid assessment, treatment, and admission of emergency patients, as well as patients who will undergo planned surgery. This new facility will improve our ability to care for patients, increasing inpatient beds, reducing wait times, and providing a ‘one-stop shop’ approach to care by co-locating a number of key services and ultimately improving clinical outcomes and patient experience,” said Dr. Alkhalil.
In recent years, centers for specialized surgery have become increasingly popular, with the United States-based Mayo Clinic and New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Canada-based Toronto General Hospital having established centers that are now recognized internationally. Dr. Khalil says HMC is aiming to have its new facility recognized as a center for excellence in specialized surgery. He says once fully operational, the Surgical Specialty Center will be an important addition to Qatar’s health system and will improve the patient experience for those requiring surgery.