Healthcare & Medicine
Salalah firm receives regulatory approval for US and European markets
Oman’s Salalah Medical Device Manufacturing Co (SMDM) is set to supply the heavily regulated markets of the USA and the European Union with its medical guidewire devices following its fourth regulatory endorsement in two years, Oman Daily Observer has reported. Guidewires are small diameter spring coils that facilitate the guided placement of catheters and other medical devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous medical conditions. The company has been given the green light to use the Certificate of Conformity Europe (CE Mark) on its devices, granting it access to the 27 countries that make up the EU.
120 companies to participate in health and wellness exhibition
More than 120 companies from 18 countries will come together for the second Medhealth and Wellness Exhibition and Conference 2011 at the Oman International Exhibition Centre from September 27-29. The expo is supported by the Ministry of Health. The event will target the healthcare sector and general population in Oman. Healthcare products, medical equipment, sports and fitness equipment, and medical services will be displayed at dedicated pavilions as part of the exhibition. “Oman Expo will also hold a two-day educational conference under the theme ‘Elevating Lifestyle Diseases in Oman’,” said Nasser Diab, general manager, Oman Expo, while addressing the media on Sunday. The conference will witness the participation of highly acclaimed experts in this area. “This year, we have decided to organize the conference to add more value and significance to the event. We have enlisted the support of international associations and are working closely with them to hold the event,” Diab said. “The development of hospital projects all over the country has opened the door for new investment opportunities. We realize the importance of this development and have invested more than we usually do in this expo.” Diab added that Oman Expo will engage in a publicity campaign to market the exhibition in the coming days. “The conference will focus on the key initiatives being undertaken by the government, particularly for the prevention of common lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity among children, allergies and respiratory infections. It will raise the awareness of people about healthcare and the solutions and systems being put in place by the government to address them,” said JeromeIlad, conference manager, Medhealth and Wellness Exhibition and Conference, UAE.
The event will be supported by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Association for Cancer Awareness, Private Hospital Association of Jordan and Oman Heart Association.
Source: Muscat Daily
UAE residents oblivious to obesity, finds report Article
Despite obesity levels reaching epidemic proportions, UAE residents are largely oblivious to their burgeoning waistlines, a new survey has found. Some 70 percent of UAE residents are classed as overweight or obese, a trend that is poised to trigger a surge in chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, found a poll carried out for Philips Healthcare. Yet 75 percent of the 750 people surveyed mistakenly said they believed themselves to be of normal weight, or leaner than they are. “The US gets a lot of stick about its percentage of population that’s overweight, but in the Gulf, it’s reaching what some would characterize as epidemic proportions, and that has a knock on effect,” Peter DeBenedictis, spokesman for Philips Healthcare, told Arabian Business. “You have diabetes, you have cardiovascular disease, already the healthcare system is strained, and if you start extrapolating these numbers out, you’ll have a problem,” he added. The UAE’s rising obesity levels have already triggered a dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes. The Gulf state ranks only behind the Pacific island of Nauru for diabetes incidence, and is closely followed by Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia. A host of factors have been blamed for the bulge in waistlines, including rising urban incomes, the adoption of a western, fast-food led diet and a decline in physical exercise. The Weqaya screening program, launched by the Abu Dhabi government in 2008, collated data from 95 percent of the 374, 653 Emirati residents in the capital. The data found that 34 percent of Emirati adults were overweight, a further 36 percent were obese and only 30 percent had a normal healthy weight. The program also found that 56 percent of those screened had ‘central obesity’ or obesity around the abdomen, which is believed to be a major risk factor for type II diabetes. Diederik Zeven, senior director and general manager, Middle East, Philips Healthcare, said that although the UAE was pushing for improved awareness, there was a need for the private sector to increase its involvement in order for the message to hit home. “It cannot be done alone, it cannot be only the government that does this. I think the solution will be a government and private sector that jointly starts pushing this agenda,” he told Arabian Business. “The first stage, that awareness stage, can make a difference.”
UAE inks deal with US hospital for Abu Dhabi rehab unit Article
The UAE has inked an agreement with a US hospital as part of plans to open a new 200-bed drugs rehabilitation unit in Abu Dhabi in 2014. The National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) - the national addiction response body in the UAE mandated with rehabilitation and treatment of people addicted to substance abuse - signed a partnership deal with McLean Hospital, based in Boston. The McLean Hospital is a comprehensive mental healthcare system affiliated with Harvard University. The partnership agreement is aimed at improving services and rehabilitation programs in the UAE, the NRC said in a statement on Saturday. The partnership agreement between NRC and McLean Hospital will lead to the opening of the new NRC building in Abu Dhabi. Dr Hamad Abdallah Al Ghaferi, NRC director general, said: “This partnership comes as part of the agenda of the Abu Dhabi government to establish centers of excellence that offers to provide international standards of health care locally, and to this end we are pleased to collaborate with McLean Hospital, one of the best psychiatric facilities in the United States.” McLean Hospital sent a high-level delegation to Abu Dhabi in January to lay the foundations for the joint venture action plan and a NRC delegation will visit McLean Hospital soon to attend a range of programs that focuses on the treatment of addiction to alcohol and drugs in Boston.
Saudi Arabia needs 7,000 medical staff by 2021 Article
Saudi Arabia will need to recruit at least 7,000 doctors and nurses over the next 5 to 10 years to meet the healthcare needs of its growing population, the senior director of Philips Healthcare said. Expatriate medical staff are likely to provide the bulk of new recruits, required to work in existing facilities and those yet to be constructed, Diederik Zeven said. “Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest investor in healthcare [in the region],” Zeven, the company’s general manager for the Middle East, told Arabian Business. “It will need another 7000 doctors and nurses over the next five to ten years to address the needs of its population and work across the existing and new facilities. “They are investing heavily in education, building university teaching hospitals and so on, but there is no doubt they’ll still be dependent on expat assistance coming from all over the region.” The kingdom’s Ministry of Health is planning up to 100 new hospitals and up to 2,000 outpatient centers at a cost of around $18bn, under a five-year development strategy. At the crux of the overhaul is the soaring rate of chronic diseases among Saudi’s population. One in four nationals has been diagnosed with diabetes, while the annual cost of providing cardiovascular care is expected to reach $8.6bn by 2025 – or around 23 percent of all medical costs in the kingdom. Managing such diseases will require an overhaul of Saudi’s national medical system, with an increased focus of family medicine, said Ruch de Silva, senior consultant for healthcare consulting at Datamonitor. “Chronic disease management and primary care will be critical to ensure that all patients will have a primary care physician to manage their basic healthcare needs and refer their patients for specialist consultations and treatment,” he said. Saudi Arabia’s aging population is an added burden- the over-65 age group has increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of five percent, putting huge strain on hospitals and clinics. “The majority of Saudi Arabia’s population today is in the age group of 15 to 65 years, but in the next 14 years, researchers expect the number of over 65s to have increased threefold,” said Anurag Dubey, industry manager for healthcare at Frost and Sullivan. The kingdom is increasingly likely to look to the private sector to help shoulder the cost burden, through schemes such as compulsory health insurance and the privatization of facilities. Asked how the Kingdom might staff its healthcare developing sector, de Silva said various incentives will be required to entice both expats and Saudi nationals. “The GCC region generally depends on expatriate healthcare professionals to meet the demands of the population, but equally, Saudis need to be encouraged to pursue careers in the healthcare field as it would be dangerous to rely on expatriates to meet future healthcare needs.”