Hospital to conduct 100 free heart surgeries

Hospital to conduct 100 free heart surgeries

A hundred individuals with heart condition, and who cannot afford the much-needed surgery, are set to benefit from an initiative by an Abu Dhabi-based hospital group that would surely change their lives.


Olivia Olarte-Ulherr

Published: Tue 28 Aug 2012, 8:53 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:42 PM

The Compassionate Community Initiative by Burjeel Hospital, which is being offered to patients from the UAE and across the Middle East region, will be carried out as a tribute to late Shaikh Zayed.

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Managing Director of Burjeel Hospital and the Lifeline Hospital Group, said that Burjeel will be working with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to nominate patients who cannot afford the operation, those without insurance and don’t have the money, but are in dire need of the surgery. Patients will be evaluated for their eligibility for the free surgery. Assistance also include the cost of bringing the patient to Abu Dhabi, if necessary.

According to Dr Amit Kumar, Endovascular Surgeon and Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Burjeel, some of the operations that will be carried out at the hospital include coronary stenting, heart bypass surgery, valve replacement and aortic surgery.

But for the more complex operation, Burjeel has collaborated with the Columbia Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the US, who will be bringing their expertise here as part of the agreement signed by the two entities on Monday. Lawrence Beilis, Executive Director of Columbia Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, has assured that in cases that cannot be done here, and “if the patient chose to come to New York, we can actually work that out.”

The agreement also includes cross-training programmes, educating physicians locally, as well as, an opportunity for specialists here to learn new techniques in cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia.

The Columbia Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery is a recognised leader in paediatric cardiac care and performs around 1,600 adult surgeries annually, including coronary bypass surgeries, valve procedures and over 800 minimally-invasive and robotic surgeries. It also has over 25 years of experience in cardiac transplant surgery, carrying out between 70 - 100 cardiac transplants each year. According to the World Health Organisation, the incidence of coronary heart disease and stroke mortality in the Middle East could triple over the next two decades.

“Whilst the solution to combating heart disease lies in education, it is too late for many people and surgery is the only way to save lives. Sadly, not all of these patients have health insurance or can afford the cost of these surgeries which is why our programme gives them much-needed hope,” Dr Charles Stanford, CEO of Burjeel Hospital, stated.

Burjeel plans to carry out the surgeries over one year, starting this November. Those who wish to benefit from this free operation can call Burjeel Hospital at 02-2222332.

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