Sheikh Sultan inaugurates spine and joint centre

Sheikh Sultan inaugurates spine and joint centre
Sheikh Sultan inaugurates spine and joint centre

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Sultan tours the facilities of the Himchan-UHS Spine & Joint Centre on Monday morning.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, officially inaugurated the Himchan-UHS Spine & Joint Centre located on the first floor of the University Hospital Sharjah (UHS) in University City, Sharjah on Monday morning.

The inauguration comes one year after a highly-skilled group of doctors and allied healthcare personnel of the 17-year-old Himchan Hospital in South Korea, whose goal is to spread around the world the “Healing Art of Medicine,” began looking after spinal chord and joints disabilities of not only UAE residents but across the Gulf countries as well.

“We directly got in touch with the UHS management two years back because we want to expand the Korean Wave of Medicine, specifically the treatment of spine and joints diseases around the world. We already have centres in Russia and Uzbekhistan. We are planning to put up one in Mongolia,” the Centre’s managing director Dr Seung Jun Park told Gulf Today.

He continued: “We (connected) with the UHS management because we have known the high standards of the hospital when it comes to patient care. We also wanted to reach out to this part of the world through Sharjah which is near .” “One thing that we considered with the UHS is that it is a university hospital,” Park added, pointing out that aside from their mission to share their learnt knowledge and skills in addressing spine and joint problems through the years, crucial too are the theoretical and applied learnings of medical students as well as the continuing learning education of the medical community in the UAE to the world.

The partnership between UHS and Himchan Hospital, which has grown into eight world-class facilities within South Korea from 2002, before stepping out into other parts of the globe, was sealed in June 2018 through the signing of an association agreement between the officials of the UHS, Himchan Hospital and Sangwon Medical Foundation (Sangwon).

Present on Monday were Himchan Hospital president Dr. Su Chan Lee and Sangwon president Dr. Hye Young Park.

Sharjah Health Authority (SHA) chairman/UHS-Board of Trustees chairman Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan said: “We have been involved in strengthening international partnerships that has helped attract renowned doctors and services from across the globe including best practices from South Korea. This will positively reflect on our efforts to provide international expertise, using leading medical technologies.”

“None of this would be possible without the support and wisdom of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah,” he added.

Consultant Orthopaedics surgeon Park and his team of three other specialists namely Consultant Spine surgeon Dr. Dae Won Cho, Consultant Orthopaedics surgeon Dr Hong Suk Kwak, and Consultant Spine surgeon Dr. Seungkook Kim—with five to 19 years of experience—alongside three physiotherapists and two nurses for the conduct of non-surgical and surgical therapies—began their patient care with various nationalities from the UAE and the Gulf, specifically from Oman and Saudi Arabia in November 2018.

Data displayed on Monday from the Centre’s Reception Area showed the South Korean medical team has so far attended to 8,708 outpatients (3,995 spine concerns and 4,713 orthopaedic issues), 1,590 minor surgical procedures including injections (467 spine surgery and 1,123 orthopaedic), and 229 major surgeries (109 spine surgery and 120 orthopaedic) for a total of 10,527 medical cases.

Park and Cho, with 19 years and 10 years of experience in their respective fields, said they have seen a wide range of patients from age 12 to the nonagenarians. Majority are women at 65 per cent and the men at 35 per cent.

Children’s concerns are more of congenital birth defects. Prevalent among the adults are the aging-caused degeneration of the spine, joints and bones.

Interviewed, SHA vice chairman/UHS-Board of Trustees chief executive officer Dr Abdelaziz Saeed Al Mheiri said the team started out in the clinics: “Management decided to dedicate one exclusive area of the hospital for the Centre. We all wish the locals and expatriates not only in Sharjah but also all over the UAE good health. We are all working towards a much healthier society.”

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