US heart clinic sees GCC visitors' rush
Dubai, January 16, 2008
Cleveland Clinic, one of the world’s leading healthcare institutions, said there has been a marginal rise in the number of medical tourists from the GCC visiting its clinic.
Ohio-based Cleveland clinic has been rated as the number one heart centre in the United States.
The visitors from the GCC region seeking medical care at Cleveland Clinic, accounted for 33.4 per cent of all international patients at the clinic in 2006, said a top official.
Furthermore, the statistics showed that 26.5 per cent of those patients from the GCC went to Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute, specifically for heart care, said a top official.
“These figures reflect the growing rate of cardiovascular disease in the region, and currently accounts for 41 per cent of the UAE’s mortality rate,” said Delos M. “Toby” Cosgrove, President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic.
“This is expected to triple over the next few years, especially as other contributing factors to cardiac disease - like hypertension, are increasing,” he added.
Dr. Cosgrove explained that lack of exercise, stress and increasingly unhealthy diets were contributing to the high levels of heart problems – especially in the GCC, where the rates of cardiac disease exceed those in any other region, with the exception of Latin America.
At the Cleveland Clinic main campus, 3,439 cardiac procedures were performed for acquired heart disease in 2006.
Cleveland Clinic performs the largest number of valve procedures in the US, and in 2006, Cleveland Clinic surgeons performed 2,127 valve procedures — 1,524 primary operations and 603 reoperations.
Dr. Cosgrove said: “While we pride ourselves on our expertise, we realise that more needs to be done to educate people about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet, to protect heart’s health in the long run. Our work not only focuses on cure, but in actually preventing the occurrence or progression of cardiovascular disease in the first place.”
The Cleveland Clinic, which has additional clinics in Florida and Canada offering patients a variety of specialised care, currently manages Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) - the premier healthcare provider in Abu Dhabi.
Cleveland Clinic now offers medical expertise at SKMC, following an agreement signed in June earlier this year.-TradeArabia News Service