Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, February 1, 2021:
Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, marks one year since it opened its doors, bringing internationally renowned resources, treatment methods and talent to the region and providing the community with an advanced health care system that delivers clinical excellence and a high-quality patient experience.
Established on January 9, 2020, SSMC reflects SEHA’s and Mayo Clinic’s shared commitment to accelerate the development of the nation’s health care industry and enhance the quality of care provided to patients in the UAE and beyond, in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which highlights the increased demand for best-in-class medical services and innovation to lessen the need for patients to travel abroad for health care.
Since opening, SSMC has completed over 270,000 outpatient visits, cared for more than 17,000 inpatients, and provided rapid medical intervention to over 94,000 patients visiting the facility’s emergency department. During the past year, SSMC conducted over 8,500 surgical procedures, including regional firsts such as spiral enteroscopy and artificial intelligence-aided colonoscopy.
As a result of SSMC’s robust position in the nation’s health care system and its effective partnerships, the facility received more than 27,500 referrals during 2020. With SSMC’s collaborative, patient-centric approach, the UAE community has access to a safe, high-quality, specialty-specific continuum of care that offers the best individual health outcomes.
H. E Salem Al Nuaimi, Chairman of SEHA, said: “As we celebrate SSMC’s first anniversary, we recognize the facility’s valuable contributions to the region’s health care ecosystem. From bringing innovative, evidence-based treatment methods to the community’s doorstep, to training and developing the local medical leaders of tomorrow, to responding effectively to the community’s needs, SSMC is dedicated to patient-centered care, invested in the development of the nation’s health care system and further establishing Abu Dhabi as a global destination for treatment.”
“On this occasion, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the UAE’s leadership for their vision and commitment to the health care sector, SEHA and Mayo Clinic for their direction and support in shaping SSMC, and SSMC’s leadership and workforce for their achievements over the past year and their focus on the facility’s growth and development. SSMC opens a direct gateway to international excellence and expertise allowing patients the opportunity to remain close to home as they receive compassionate and excellent expert care,” continued Al Nuaimi.
With its first year of operation coinciding with the onset of COVID-19, and SEHA leading the country’s response to the pandemic, SSMC quickly mobilized to provide a swift, coordinated response alongside the nation’s health care network and under guidance of the country’s emergency response team. Through Mayo Clinic’s and SEHA’s partnership, 91 Mayo Clinic physicians, nurses and allied health staff arrived in the UAE in May to allow SSMC to expand its capacity and elevate its care for its patients.
While patient visits to health care facilities decreased during the pandemic, SSMC took other steps to maintain patient communication and care. SSMC introduced connected care, a platform to allow care teams to connect directly with patients to deliver health care remotely. SSMC saw over 23,000 patients via telemedicine over the past year, with remote appointments increasing by 325% during the height of the pandemic.
As part of SSMC’s commitment to bring Mayo Clinic expertise to the region, the facility also implemented AskMayoExpert, an online resource that delivers Mayo Clinic physician-vetted medical knowledge and answers to common clinical questions. Physicians are also given the opportunity to engage in a collaborative feedback process with Mayo Clinic specialists about a patient’s care plan through the information-sharing technology eConsults.
Dr. G. Anton Decker, President of International, Mayo Clinic, said: “With the support of the UAE’s leadership and alongside our partner, SEHA, we are devoted to developing a beacon for health care in the region with the long-term vision of transforming SSMC into a destination medical center.”
“SSMC’s first year of operation saw the core ingredients of the joint venture come to life, with the continuous and seamless transfer of talent, knowledge and expertise. With international talent immersing themselves in the local culture of excellence, and regional health care professionals gaining first-hand insight into international best-practice, SSMC is on track to combine Mayo Clinic’s expertise with SEHA’s rich legacy, offering the community the very best in health care.
“As SSMC accelerates its journey to the future, we look forward to further integrating Mayo Clinic and SSMC through the exchange of talent, technology, innovation and treatment methods,” added Dr. Decker.
As SSMC continues the provision of the most advanced care to the community, it is committed to showcasing the capital as a hub for innovation, medical education and research in a way that is consistent with Mayo quality. To do so, SSMC is integrating Mayo Clinic’s three shields of Practice, Research and Education into its operating model. The goal is to provide the highest quality clinical care that works in conjunction with Research and Education to meet the needs of our patients.
SSMC already has worked collaboratively to build out many new clinical service lines supported by multi-professional teams from Mayo, including many exceptional physicians, nurses and other health care professionals who are no part of SSMC.
Dr. Naser Ammash, Chief Executive Officer, SSMC, said: “SSMC’s first year of operations was a year of achievements. Our talented team, integrated with SEHA and Mayo, carved the path for SSMC’s journey to becoming the region’s preferred integrated health care destination, with patient care at the heart of everything we do.
“As we gear up for our second year serving the region’s every health care need, we are committed to building a fully integrated health care system that prioritizes a superior patient journey and outcomes. As the health care landscape evolves, we are focusing on bringing life-changing advancements and solutions to meet the region’s most dire needs. We are also committed to the continuous education of patients on preventative health, as well as the development of our current workforce and the future generation of health care professionals.”
During the next year, SSMC will continue its focus on enhancing the patient journey, introducing and sharpening specialties and subspecialties, and expanding its network of partners to advance physician and patient education and enrich the continuum of care in the region. In parallel, SSMC will continue building the foundation for research with the aim to pioneer medical research innovation in the region and contribute to the global movement of knowledge and discovery.