Doha, 31 January 2022: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Neurosurgery Department has achieved several successive developments over the past three years in terms of the types and numbers of surgeries it performs every year. For the first time since its establishment, HMC’s Neurosurgery Department performed more than 1000 neurosurgeries in one year (2021), which is considered as a huge leap in surgical activity in this specialty. The surgeries included 177 brain surgeries to remove tumors, more than 300 spinal surgeries, as well as other surgical procedures to treat cases with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, cerebrovascular diseases, and other neurosurgical conditions.
Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer and Chairman of Surgery at HMC said that HMC continues its development journey with many remarkable achievements and milestones reached so far, such as the opening of new facilities and implementing quality improvement plans and programs to ensure the delivery of best healthcare services to patients and to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services from the rapidly growing population in Qatar.
“Surgical services at HMC meet the best international standards in terms of patient safety and the surgical technology used by our surgeons. HMC is committed to enhancing the surgical infrastructure in all its departments and specialties and to providing innovative services and technologies to enhance surgical capacity and capabilities across all its hospitals, as well as to providing the best and most advanced surgical services available to Qatar’s population,” said Dr. Al Ansari.
“HMC is committed to continue its efforts to enhance medical performance, introduce the best treatment programs to better serve its patients, and to introduce the latest equipment and technologies and train its staff on the use of these technologies to ensure the delivery of high-quality care to patients. Qatar’s health sector is making every effort to keep up with the latest medical practices and technologies and to continue to provide patient-centered care to its patients,” added Dr. Al Ansari.
Dr. Sirajeddin Belkhair, Senior Consultant and Head of the Neurosurgery Department at HMC said that the strategy of the Neurosurgery Department over the past few years has been focused on achieving several objectives, such as improving the quality of neurosurgical care at HMC and enhancing the confidence of the local community in the quality of treatment services provided at HMC so that patients opt to seek neurosurgery services locally instead of to seek treatment abroad. The objectives of the Neurosurgery Department also include strengthening the neurosurgery training program to ensure residents and neurosurgeons acquire the highest levels of skills to treat patients who suffer from a variety of conditions and maintain the international accreditation of this training program, as well as obtaining international accreditation for treatment services provided by the Neurosurgery Department to be recognized as a center of excellence on the national, regional, and international levels.
Dr. Belkhair, who became Head of the Neurosurgery Department at HMC in January 2018, highlighted the department’s success in performing a number of highly-complex surgeries for the first time in Qatar over the past months, including more than 10 brain tumor surgeries performed on awake patients, four brain surgeries for epilepsy with intra operative electroencephalography brain mapping, and a brain bypass surgery on a patient with Moyamoya Disease as part of the Brain Re-Vascularization Program, which was introduced three years ago. HMC is currently the only healthcare provider in the region to offer this surgery, which is a last-resort treatment for patients suffering from Moyamoya disease. All these surgeries demonstrate HMC’s excellence in the delivery of surgical services.
Dr. Belkhair attributes the significant increase in the number and complexity of surgeries performed by HMC’s neurosurgeons to the increased confidence of patients, citizens and residents, in the quality of surgical and healthcare services they receive at HMC. This encourages more and more patients to opt to seek treatment in Qatar where they can receive the best healthcare while they are with their families and loved ones instead of traveling abroad for treatment.
“The Neurosurgery Department is staffed with five senior consultants, three consultants, and nine specialists. We have two operating rooms available round the clock to allow our surgeons to perform surgeries 24/7, including surgeries on weekend days for trauma and stroke patients and for cases with hemorrhage due to aneurysms or vascular anomalies. The global reputation that HMC has gained for its world-class neurosurgical services has led it to become a treatment destination for many patients from across the region. We now see patients from neighboring countries such as Kuwait and Oman travelling to Qatar to undergo brain surgeries,” said Dr. Belkhair.
Dr. Sirajeddin Belkhair, who is also the Director of Neurosurgery Residency Program at HMC, explained that there are currently 15 neurosurgery residents from nine different countries enrolled in HMC’s Neurosurgery Residency Program. Our residents are provided with high-quality training to ensure they become world-class neurosurgeons. The seven-year training program is carried out at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) under supervision of HMC surgeons. After obtaining a Fellowship in Neurosurgery, some of the graduates of this program traveled to work in hospitals in the United States, Canada, and Europe, which demonstrates the high quality, world-class training they received at HMC. We also offer training to students from Qatar University’s College of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar during their undergraduate years.
The continued efforts of HMC’s Neurosurgery Department have helped it achieve international accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI). In addition, HMC’s Neurosurgery Residency Program achieved accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education – International (ACGME-I) in July 2021, which demonstrates excellence in the way medical graduates are trained through residency, internship, and fellowship programs. HMC’s Neurosurgery Residency Program is the second program outside of the United States to achieve the ACGME-I accreditation.
“The future vision of HMC’s Neurosurgery Department is focused on introducing the world’s latest surgical practices and technologies at HMC and making them available to patients in Qatar, as well as maintaining and even improving the world-class care services we deliver so that our department becomes a globally recognized center of excellence in neurosurgery. We also have the ambition of establishing a specialist hospital for neurological disorders in Qatar,” Dr. Belkhair concluded.