:: JCI accreditation
Jeddah – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah formally inaugurated the 300-bed-state of the- art International Medical Center at an impressive ceremony here yesterday.
In attendance at the opening of the beautifully- designed SR500 private hospital in Jeddah’s upscale Ruwais district were cabinet ministers, foreign dignitaries, civic officials, businessmen and prominent residents of the city.
King Abdullah commended the private sector for what he described as its tremendous contribution to the health sector. The King thanked all those associated with the high-tech hospital. “I wish them every success.’ He said.
Underlining the efforts of Saudi businessmen and doctors in carrying out huge medical projects in the Kingdom, King Abdullah said: “This reflects their strong faith in God, their nation and humanity. These efforts are not at all surprising, coming as they are from the sons of Saudi Arabia.”
Health Minister Dr. Hamad Al- Manie reiterated the governments support for such health projects. The new hospital, he said would provide high quality medical services of international standard.
The young and ebullient Dr.Walid Fitaihi, the chief executive officer and main force behind the hospital the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, was cynosure of all eyes.
“It is a dream come true”, an elated Dr. Fitaihi told reporters later. “It took seven long years,” he said.
“We think of ourselves as paradigm shift in healthcare delivery in terms of standards,” he said, adding “We want this to be a place that people know, trust and feel comfortable in as patients.”
“This is why we teamed up with the Cleveland Clinic which is known for its history, ethics and its leadership in all specialties of medicine, especially heart surgery.” Cleveland Clinic is ranked as one of the top three hospitals in the US.
“The IMC-Cleveland Clinic partnership includes know-how, policy, procedures, expertise, training, telemedicine referrals and second opinions. It is a unique partnership and one key advantage of working with a foundation is that qualified physicians who had their training in the US can become clinical affiliates for Cleveland Clinic and can apply for research grants there under the partnership umbrella the.” Dr. Fitaihi added.
Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove, the chief executive officer of Cleveland Clinic and a very well known cardiac surgeon, said he was proud of the prestigious American hospitals association with IMC.“ These are mission driven people,” he said referring to Dr. Fitaihi and his team of doctors.
We are very careful with who we are associated with,’ he said “we have had offers from nearly 25 countries to partner with. This is going to be the biggest partnership in the Middle East.,” Dr. Cosgrove, who has preformed over 20,0000 surgical procedures and has become a world-renowned expert in the field of heart valve repair, said it was important to point out that most of the doctors at the IMC have worked at Cleveland Clinic. “So they have a good idea about the efforts that go into becoming the best medical facility in the world too,” he said.
“A successful project,” Dr. Cosgrove said it is a combination of two things; physical structure and human beings. We have a wonderful structure at IMC complete with the most modern facilities also individuals with very high credentials. Remember, great physicians and great scientists make great hospitals.”
About the key role teleconferencing and telecommunications are playing in the world of medicine, Dr. Cosgrove said: “I always believed that learning should go to doctors rather than doctors going to learning. Thanks to modern innovations, physical distances don’t mean much. It is pretty easy to disseminate information in a matter of minutes. With teleconferencing you can direct an operation hundreds of miles away. At IMC this technology is going to be widely used.”
According to Dr. Fitaihi, the challenge has just begun. “Now comes the real work. We want to deliver all that we have promised.Iam confident and my confidence stems from the excellent team of doctors and experts that that we have at the center. I want every patient to leave our hospital completely healed and smiling. I want to see them smile,” he said.
Dr. Fitaihi praised all the individuals who invested in the project even before the building was erected. “All the investors knew that it meant to add value to the society, so their main objective was never maximize profits but to be proud of their investment,”Dr. Fitaihi said adding: “They (the investors) were involved in all stages of the project.”
The facllity which cost more than SR500 million, includes a pharmacy, rehabilitation center, heath clubs, an auditorium, learning centers for patient use, and a cafeteria. There are many centers of excellence: diabetes treatment and management, woman’s health and pediatrcs.