Cuban Hospital sees sharp rise in patient visits

Al Marri y Doctor Felipe

Doha: The Cuban Hospital has seen a sharp rise in the patient visits over the past five years. The hospital recorded 74,331 outpatient visits and 4,536 inpatients in 2017, compared to 256 inpatients and 17,345 outpatients it registered in 2012. The number of surgeries performed at the hospital increased from 259 in 2012 to 3,100 in 2017. It also recorded 677 births in 2017 a major jump from nine births in 2012, according to senior officials at the Cuban Hospital. “Cuban Hospital provides all medical and surgical services in more than 25 specialties. We aim at providing improved services and reducing the waiting list for patients. Mainly the hospital receives patients from the western part of the country as well as some from Doha,” said Dr Angel Mario Felipe Garmendia, Medical Director of the Cuban Hospital, speaking to media recently. 

Located in Dukhan, The Cuban Hospital was officially opened in January 2012, as a joint project between the government of Qatar and Cuba. It functions in collaboration with the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and has around 450 Cuban staff including doctors, nurses and technical staff. The hospital has 75 beds and seven operating theatres. “We are working on to expand our services and open more evening clinics, laser eye surgeries and dental in plant services this year. Also a bone and joint center will open aiming at providing comprehensive orthopedic services including surgeries and a full cycle of rehabilitation,” said Dr Garmendia. 

The Cuban Hospital mainly serves people in Dukhan which has about 5,000 staff of Qatar Petroleum and Zekreet which has about 7,000 labor camps, Shahaniya, the biggest city close to Dukhan and Umm Bab a nearby small town.  “We also receive many patients from Doha seeking services in all specialties. About 35 percent of all patients are coming from Doha and are referred from by HMC hospitals,” said Mohamed Amer Al Marri, Assistant Executive Director Business and Staff Services, Top Administration Department, Cuban Hospital. In 2016, the Cuban Hospital started providing bariatric (weight loss) surgeries and conducted 176 procedures within a year.  “Initially we conducted bariatric surgeries only once a week and increased it to twice a week in March 2017. Also the outpatient clinics for bariatric services see 10 to 14 patients per week,” said Al Marri. \

Concept of the Cuban Hospital was created by the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani when he visited Cuba in 2002. It was been built by Qatar Petroleum and completed construction in 2009. The soft opening was in May 2011 and was run the by Ministry of Public Health, (then Supreme Council of Health). Later it was brought under the HMC in January 2012. 

The Peninsula Feb 2018            

By Fazeena Saleem

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