UAE launches creative initiative to treat poor cardiac patients

WAM Abu Dhabi, 15 Feb. 2013 (WAM) — A team of Emirati-Egyptian and French cardiologists have come up with a creative initiative to charge rich cardiac patients for heart surgeries they operate on them and donate the funds to treat poor hearts.

Supported by UAE social business entrepreneurs, the first-of-its-kind humanitarian social and medical mission, a brainchild of UAE Cardiologist Dr. Adel Al Shameri, CEO of International Doctors of Poor People Initiative, aims to pay fees of diagnostic, therapeutic invasive cardiac procedures for the underprivileged heart patients across the world.

Dr. Abdullah Shehab, a UAE heart consultant and member of the team, said he joined the initiative because it provides an ideal opportunity to serve destitute heart patients.

The project, he said, is creative in terms of programme and self-financing and had made significant success at the first trial of operation.

The pilot programme of surgeries, he added, had already been running in three countries : UAE, Egypt and Sudan. Well-off cardiac patients are charged for surgeries according to fee structure applied in private and public hospitals to cover exorbitant costs of treatment of poor patients and low-incomers who are not covered by insurance system.

French famous cardiologist Dr. Oliver Jack Dean, Head of Heart Centre at Lyon Hospital and founding member of the Initiative, said tens of wealthy heart patients in these three countries had registered for surgeries. Those patients can benefit from the rich experiences and experiments of the team on open heart, endoscopic cardiac surgery and robotic cardiac procedures without traveling abroad and paying high treatment costs.

He noted that the initiative was eliciting huge response from doctors and surgeons especially following prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Abdullah Al Mutlaq approved the idea of doctors giving their zakat in form of operations and screening for the sake of Allah to help poor patients.

To advance the initiative he added that the cardiologists would partner with public and private specialist centres and work in coordination with ministries of health and other volunteer organisations in sisterly and friendly countries.

He said that a number of public and private hospitals in the said three countries were selected to conduct heart surgeries for poor patients.

More hospitals, he disclosed, will be approached to join the second phase of the initiative.

The team will also provide free-of charge diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical and preventive services to the needy elderly and children through world-class mobile clinic and volunteer medical convoys.

Doctors of Poor People will also maximise international programmes in 2013 to reach out to the largest number of needy patients.


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