London hospital expanding UAE footprint, offers unique programs

Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority (center), at King’s College Hospital London’s newly medical center in Jumeirah, Dubai.

:: The UAE healthcare sector is increasingly attracting new players. Last week, King’s College Hospital London’s (KCH) opened a new medical center in Jumeirah, Dubai. The new facility of the London-based, world-renowned teaching hospital, is set to deliver world-leading expertise and enhanced patient journeys across more than 10 specialties including paediatrics, fetal medicine, diabetes, and endocrinology.

“There is nothing more important to us than our patients’ needs and supporting the UAE’s impressive healthcare vision of providing access to quality healthcare through a best in class primary, secondary and tertiary care network of facilities. That is why we’ve brought over 175 years of King’s experience and our unique evidence based healthcare approach to the UAE,” Neil Buckley, CEO KCH UAE said at the launch.

Buckley said that as part of its offering to UAE, world-leading experts will visit patients in the UAE every four to six weeks as part of unique ‘London Faculty Program’.

The inauguration was attended by Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority; and representatives from KCH UAE’s three joint venture investors: Ahmed H. Al Tayer, Chairman of KCH UAE and Al Tayer Group; Khalid Bin Kalban, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Investments PJSC; and Ahsan Ali, Head of Business Operations and Healthcare, Ashmore Group Plc.

The medical centre in Jumeirah follows into the footsteps of KCH’s flagship medical and surgical centre in Abu Dhabi and precedes an upcoming Dubai Marina based medical center and a Dubai Hill’s based tertiary care hospital.

Access to world-leading expertise locally

“We have three core healthcare concepts that we are launching for the UAE market; the London Faculty, the London Neuroscience Academy Program and the Multi-Disciplinary Case Review Boards.

The London Faculty gives access to a large pool of the world’s best clinicians from the UK who are an integrated part of our patient pathway and who will be in the UAE every four to six weeks. During the intervening period, their day-to-day involvement with our UAE’s doctors and patients is maintained through telemedicine and through our local KCH clinicians,” explained Buckley.

Three leading experts will be visiting. Dr. Marco Sinisi, a world expert in peripheral neurology and pioneer in peripheral nerve injury: an expertise that has not widely been available to patients previously in the UAE and is highly relevant given the number of road traffic accidents which is the major cause.

The second expert, Prof. Nigel Heaton, is a global leader in liver transplantation, and is preparing to offer paediatric liver transplant operations locally from when KCH will open its hospital here in early 2019.

The third expert is Dr. Bu Hayee, the pioneer of a new endoscopic technique that reverses some forms of diabetes with remarkable clinical outcomes.

“These are services not seen in the UAE to date and specialisations that are very relevant and much needed for this region,” said Buckley.

UAE based KCH patients will also have access to Multi-Disciplinary Case Review Boards which are panels of 20 to 30 world leading clinicians, from the UK, providing bespoke expert treatment plans for complex individual cases in cancer, cardiology and neurology, where cutting-edge healthcare is required for KCH patients in the UAE.

The London Neuroscience Academy Program, founded by 11 world leading Neurologists from King’s College Hospital London, will be hosting symposia, led by visiting Neuroscience specialists, in the UAE every two months. The program will enhance capabilities in the Emirates by improving efficiencies in the local sector and UAE healthcare professionals’ (HCP) knowledge of new ground-breaking techniques and developments. Open to the industry, the next symposium will be held in February 2018.

All these initiatives help keep patients in the UAE for treatment and rehabilitation, removing the inconvenience and expense of travelling overseas to seek world-leading expertise. “There is currently about AED 1bn worth of outward-bound health tourism revenue lost to the sector every year. This is because the market is subject to certain gaps in specialized clinical procedures and expertise that we are here to close,” Buckley added.

UAE expansion

Detailing KCH’s expansion plans for the Emirates, Al Tayer, Chairman of KCH , explains that, “Our growth plan of a total of five medical centers and a 100-bed Dubai based hospital are on track to be completed by 2018. We will then expand to a 200-bed hospital by 2020. We will be serving a catchment area of hundreds of thousands of patients every year once these facilities are all open, in addition to being able to further job creation in the UAE. For phase one alone we will be adding 1,000 jobs to the local sector.”

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