Evacuating Palestinian patients from Gaza: How UAE healthcare provider is saving lives

Response Plus Medical has been rescuing hundreds of wounded Palestinians as part of the UAE’s Gallant Knight 3 mission

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 27 Dec 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 27 Dec 2023, 11:17 PM

While thousands of Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed in the Israel-Hamas war, an Abu Dhabi-based healthcare provider has been striving hard to save crucial Gazan lives.

Response Plus Medical (RPM), through its well-trained and experienced group of paramedics and state-of-the-art ambulances, has been rescuing hundreds of wounded Palestinians as part of the UAE’s Gallant Knight 3 mission.

“Transferring patients by air from a war field with life-threatening conditions, extensive burns, bone trauma and oncology patients require a special skill set. RPM has a team of advanced paramedics and emergency medical technicians trained in this very field of air evacuations,” RPM chief executive officer Dr Rohil Raghavan told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

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“The RPM central control centre monitors and supports this whole evacuation process till the patient is safely received by the treating hospital.”

RPM, part of Response Plus Holding PJSC (RPM), is the largest provider of onsite healthcare, medical emergency services, and occupational health solutions in the UAE.

“RPM is proud to be part of this noble mission, Gallant Knight 3 launched by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and executed by the Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence.”

Also, RPM and Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Holdings have partnered with Cairo’s Cleopatra Hospitals Group to offer emergency and complex medical support to severely injured children transferred from Gaza.

“RPM forged alliances with Cleopatra Hospitals Group in Egypt to offer humanitarian aid for Gaza.”

RPM has an overall fleet of more than 350 ambulances and a workforce exceeding 1,600. The company’s ambulances have been at the forefront as injured Palestinians have been flown into Abu Dhabi for treatment. It’s team of paramedics have been accompanying the injured and cancer patients on the special flights landing at the Abu Dhabi International Airport from Egypt’s El Arish International Airport.

“We will continue to serve the community to the best of our abilities. It has been a banner year for us, marked by expansion, innovation, and a continued commitment to excellence in prehospital care,” Dr Raghavan, appointed as the new CEO in July, said.

5G ambulances, Haj services

Among other notable contributions this year include being the official ambulance service for the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia during Haj season by providing eight advanced life support ambulances, unveiling the first 5G-powered ambulances in Abu Dhabi ensuring faster response, real-time data streaming and enhanced medical capabilities, and spearheading the first site clinic Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation drive of 148 ADNOC clinics operated by RPM.

Elaborating about 5G-connected ambulances, Dr Raghavan noted it’s an innovative technology in prehospital care.

“When a patient is transferred in these 5G ambulances, throughout the journey all medical parametres are communicated live to the designated hospital healthcare workers. As soon as the patient arrives in the hospital, there is no requirement for triaged treatment and treatment can be started immediately.”

8,000 trained life supporters

Medical manpower training and supply are among the key verticals at RPM. This year, it has trained more than 8,000 individuals across a spectrum of certification programmes, including advanced cardiovascular life support, basic life support, paediatric advanced life support, and other first aid courses. “We saw significant growth in training delegates and expanded the diverse range of training courses at RPM subsidiary Healthtech Training Center in Abu Dhabi.”

Dr Raghavan highlighted the company is looking to widen the scope of its training wing with unique programmes in various new sectors.

“Recognising the importance of a skilled workforce, RPM partnered with Fatima College of Health Sciences in Abu Dhabi, securing a pipeline of future medical professionals and fostering closer ties with the academic community.”

Its Essential Food Safety Training course received approval from the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) to train food handlers in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, the Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) programme obtained accreditation from the American Heart Association, enabling the training of healthcare professionals in labour rooms, neonatal wards, and ICUs.

Sports, community events

RPM, a listed company on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and the FTSE global micro midcap index, recorded a strong financial performance with a 29 per cent increase in net profit during the first half of the year.

“This growth reflects our commitment to efficient operations and reinvestment in essential services,” Dr Raghavan added.

RPM has been offering emergency medical services for mega sports and entertainment events in the UAE and the region. This month, RPM offered medical services and solutions during the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon. Its team continues to provide comprehensive medical coverage for the ongoing Mother of the Nation Festival in Abu Dhabi.

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