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More trauma specialists for SMC

Manama, March 9, 2008

Health chiefs are beefing up the number of trauma specialists at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) in Bahrain to help tackle waiting lists, it was learnt.

This follows an increase in the number of trauma cases being treated at the hospital, which is Bahrain's main trauma centre.

But newly-appointed chairman of SMC's orthopaedic department, Dr Fareed Salloom, said action must also be taken to solve the hospital's bed shortage.

'Plans are underway to include more specialists in the (trauma) team,' he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

'Though there is no exclusive trauma centre in Bahrain, the SMC acts as a full-fledged trauma care centre managed by highly-qualified Bahrainis.'

The current trauma management team includes general surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and anaesthetists.

But Dr Salloom, a specialist in sports medicine and paediatric orthopaedic surgery with Arab Board and Canadian fellowships - as well as a German fellowship in trauma care - says the workload has increased by more than 50 per cent in six years.

He added that a number of sports injuries from other Gulf countries are finding their way to the hospital.

'The total number of adult trauma cases attended by our department last year was 1,643, against 1,131 in 2001,' he revealed.

'The quality of care at the SMC orthopaedic department has won wide acclaim, with hundreds of other Gulf nationals seeking our services.

'Out of 700 cases of sports medicine surgeries conducted at our department last year, 150 were from other Gulf states. The majority of them have undergone knee surgeries.'

However, Dr Salloom reiterated that his department - like other departments at SMC - was badly hit by an acute shortage of beds.

'When our department was established in 1990, the total number of beds was 62 for male, female and paediatric cases,' he revealed.

'The number of cases has since increased several fold, but the bed capacity has remained the same.

'Sometimes, we have to even part with our beds for serious cases referred from the emergency department.'

Dr Salloom said his department was managed by more than 30 specialists and all but four were Bahrainis, including nine consultants.

Two other Bahraini doctors are currently undergoing training in upper limb and paediatric surgery in France and Ireland.

Dr Salloom, who is also a specialist in ligament surgery, said SMC was now equipped to do all types of advanced orthopaedic surgeries.

'The number of hip and knee replacement surgeries carried out at our department increased from 93 in 2001 to 218 in 2006,' he revealed.

'The number of spine surgeries increased from 105 to 263, pelvic surgeries from 22 to 185 and foot and ankle surgeries from 80 to 400 during the same period.'

More than 200 patients are on the waiting list for joint replacement surgeries, said Dr Salloom.

'Each of our specialists has at least 50 patients on the waiting list, spanning several months,' he added.

'We can attend to more patients with enhanced quality care, if the bed shortage crisis is resolved.'-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: increase | Health | Specialists | Trauma | Waiting list |

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