Posted on December 04, 2014

A new first-class National Diabetes Center was inaugurated this week at Al Wakra Hospital during a ceremony led by the Minister of Public Health, HE Abdullah bin Khalid Al-Qahtani, and Hanan Al-Kuwari, PhD, Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital, which is located on the ground floor of the Outpatient Department, is providing diabetic patients living in Al Wakra, and the growing communities in the country’s southern region, with improved access to specialized diabetes care. “The vision for the National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital is a patient-centered facility that offers diabetes treatment through an interdisciplinary team approach. This is the second in a chain of National diabetic care centers that serve as one-stop shops in which patients can speak with specialist doctors and nutrition experts, renew prescriptions and learn how to manage their condition,” said Dr. Al-Kuwari.

Over 750 patients have been treated at the center since it began welcoming patients in late October of this year. Approximately 800 patient visits per month are expected at the new facility which is modelled on the National Diabetes Center at Hamad General Hospital (HGH). Treating patients during morning and afternoon clinics, the new facility at Al Wakra Hospital uses a multi-disciplinary approach in caring for patients and is providing a range of services, including foot care, counseling and education, blood investigation and insulin pump therapy. Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at HMC, said the new facility has improved overall patient waiting times, reducing the waitlist for diabetes care at HGH and in turn improving patient outcomes and satisfaction levels. He added the center at Al Wakra Hospital is utilizing a new model of care that is providing a more streamlined and comfortable experience for patients.

“We’ve brought together highly-specialized services in one location, providing patients with the tools they need to manage their disease from the onset. As is the case at Hamad General, we’re creating seamless access to services and specialists and improving patient outcomes,” said Professor Abou-Samra. “Additionally, the facility here at Al Wakra Hospital demonstrates our focus on providing a more individualized and patient-centered model of care. For example, rather than having a patient transfer rooms multiple times during their visit, the patient stays in the same location and our physicians and nurses come to him or her to administer treatment.”

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Diabetes is a complex condition which can lead to debilitating long-term complications and acute illness. The disease has reached epidemic proportion in Qatar with about 17 percent of the Qatari adult population thought to have diabetes. About 11 percent of the population is estimated to be pre-diabetic and it is anticipated that as many as a third of diabetics are not aware of their disease. Dr. Mahmoud Al Heidous, Acting Medical Director, Al Wakra Hospital, said the new facility is part of HMC’s approach to managing the current and future demand for diabetic services by providing specialized care in the community setting.

“The National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital is part of HMC’s ongoing commitment to providing patients with access to high-quality care that is located close to their homes,” said Dr. Al Heidous. “Next week, we will celebrate our second anniversary and we are committed to providing evidence-based innovative programs that have a positive impact and meet the current, and future, needs of the community in which we are located; providing the right care, in the right place and at the right time.”

Earlier this year, HMC launched an awareness campaign designed to increase public understanding of diabetes and to empower residents to take control over their health. The campaign aims to highlight risk factors of the disease, raise awareness of associated signs and symptoms and provide strategies to manage and prevent diabetes and lifestyle-related conditions. With recent statistics suggesting that over seventy percent of the population is overweight, raising community awareness of healthy lifestyle practices is a vital strategy for reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Qatar.

For more information on diabetes, including tips on how to eat a balanced diet and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, and for details on the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices, visit http://diabetes.hamad.qa/en/

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