GULF TIMES, QATAR: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, a world-renowned paediatric academic health science centre, have completed five years of partnership in transforming paediatric healthcare services in Qatar.
To mark the anniversary and the end of the partnership, celebrations were held simultaneously via video link at HMC in Doha and at SickKids’s Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning Auditorium in Toronto.
“In 2010, HMC and SickKids formally entered into a five-year partnership that has made significant strides in children’s healthcare in Qatar by integrating clinical excellence, research and education. This collaborative partnership encompasses every aspect of paediatric healthcare in the country from primary to tertiary services; its overall aim is to build excellence in paediatric care,” said Geraldine Johnston, executive director, Office of Corporate Child Health Planning, HMC.
With the support of the partnership, HMC has established a range of services based on international best practice, spanning adolescent medicine, child and adolescent mental health, autism and social communication, early intervention for developmental delays and paediatric anaesthesia. Other services expanded during the partnership include a paediatric surgical high dependency unit, a multi-disciplinary complex care clinic and the Al Maha Children’s Unit, a long-term care facility to improve quality of life for technology-dependent children with complex medical conditions.
Additionally, the partnership team has delivered 15 interdisciplinary education programmes that have benefited over 3,000 HMC healthcare professionals and has organised 12 major workshops and conferences with nearly 2,000 delegates in attendance. The team has also been at the forefront of building child health research capacity in the country.
“Seeing the impact of our collective efforts to improve the health services for children in Qatar is very rewarding for our organisation and for our staff,” said Dr Michael Apkon, president and CEO of SickKids. “We are very fortunate to have a wonderful partner in HMC who recognise the importance of investing in high quality healthcare for children and their families.”
“The HMC-SickKids partnership has been a journey for many of us which has brought together expertise, dedication and commitment from both SickKids and HMC for the benefit of the children of Qatar. We have come a long way and I know that the excellent work started as a result of this partnership will continue,” said Dr Abdulla al-Kaabi, executive sponsor of the HMC-SickKids Partnership and Sidra Medical and Research Centre’s executive vice chief medical officer.
Speaking live from Toronto via video conference were Dr Michael Apkon, president and CEO of SickKids, and Cathy Seguin, executive sponsor of the HMC-SickKids Partnership and Vice President of SickKids International. Seguin also spoke on behalf of Dr John Wedge, executive chair of SickKids