x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Cleveland Clinic to lead future of health care

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, was among the audience who heard a presentation about the launch of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island will provide more than 360 beds and 26 operating theatres. Christopher Pike / The National
The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island will provide more than 360 beds and 26 operating theatres. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi will lift the standard of health care when it opens next year, largely because of the foresight of the emirate’s leaders, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

“What I have here is an opportunity to work with great leaders who are able to see a future in humanity, the progressive thoughts, enormous opportunity – in many cases a blank piece of paper that can colour in the future of health care,” said Dr Marc Harrison.

Dr Harrison was speaking at the majlis of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in one of a series of talks throughout the holy month.

The lecture at Al Bateen Palace was attended by Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, along with several other sheikhs and faculty members of the clinic.

Dr Harrison said Abu Dhabi “values education and a sustainable future”.

“When you think about health care it is really all about sustaining the future through excellent health care, and securing the future of our next generations to live happy and productive lives,” he said.

Lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular issues are on the rise, and would be a focus for the clinic.

Dr Harrison said he was thrilled that the leadership in the country was taking a stand to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“It is the leadership that has really set the right direction and, while we will take care of the complex preliminary care cases, we are thrilled that there is such an emphasis on health and wellness, improved diet and exercise that I am seeing around us,” he said.

“When leaders do such things as go to the Formula One track to ride bicycles, it sends an incredible message to society that one’s health is one’s own responsibility, and you are cared for at home if something goes wrong.”

The 24-storey Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island will provide more than 360 beds and 26 operating theatres.

“It is going to be one of the first fully digital hospitals in the world. We will have almost no paper in the entire hospital,” Dr Harrison said.

“The fact that a unified medical record is going to exist will provide seamless communication, which means there is an opportunity for us to communicate back and forth with the main campus and elsewhere in the healthcare system, without having the patient have the responsibility of carrying paper,” he said.

That would allow the caregivers to have more information on the patient’s health, enabling them to providing better treatment.

The hospital will include departments of ophthalmology, heart and vascular disease, neurology, digestive system and others.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi aimed to develop “the next generation of healthcare leaders” said Dr Harrison, and especially Emirati caregivers.

He said it aimed to complement health care in the country, not take over the system.

So far, Emiratis make up 15 per cent of the clinic’s employees, but Dr Harrison said he was sure that percentage would soon increase.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae