ONE-STOP HEALTH

Lebanon 2015 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Dr. Mounes Kalaawi, MD & CEO of Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC) & Chairman of Clemenceau Medicine International (CMI), on the impact of new technologies and the healthcare scene in Lebanon.

What procedures are CMC's specialties?

CMC is an ultra-modern medical institution affiliated with Johns Hopkins International, fully equipped with the most advanced technology, which is why it has been recognized as one of the top hospitals in the Middle East. CMC was selected from among hospitals across the globe as one of the 30 most technologically advanced hospitals in the world. The services at CMC have been designed around the needs of patients to enhance the quality of care and speed up diagnosis and treatment. We provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient medical services. We are a one-stop care destination—all procedures available at CMC.

What are the main highlights of CMC Management's plan to develop an extension to CMC's main building?

The expansion is expected to launch at the end of 2016. There will be an increase in the number of beds, operating rooms, outpatient clinics, and an OPD building with 35 new multi-specialty clinics. Moreover, a full-service oncology center with radiotherapy will provide multidisciplinary and comprehensive care to patients, both local and international. A hemodialysis unit will cater to the needs of patients suffering from kidney failure. Also, a floor will be dedicated to a psychiatric ward especially built and furnished to suit patients' needs.

“CMC is an ultra-modern medical institution affiliated with Johns Hopkins International."

How does the Da Vinci surgical system allow surgeons to better conduct operations, and what is the importance of being the only hospital in the region with this technology?

The introduction of robotic surgery at CMC is a landmark in the history of medicine in Lebanon and the region. This new technology positions our hospital at the forefront of cutting-edge procedures, and shows our willingness to make the investment to ensure our patients receive top-notch services. This innovative technology allows us to perform more complex procedures with a minimally invasive approach than surgeons were able to prior to this era. This unique medical technology replaces the traditional approaches to treating diseases. Robotic surgery has now changed patient care and established itself as one of the most important and promising breakthroughs in medical innovation. The advantages of this procedure include less pain, improved cosmesis, less blood loss, and a shorter hospital stay.

How would you assess Lebanon's potential to become a medical hub in the region?

Lebanon as a country is a sought-after touristic destination in itself. Medically speaking, Lebanon provides patients with the most advanced medical treatments and technology. In addition, Lebanese doctors come with exceptional education and degrees from the US and Europe, becoming leading doctors in Lebanon and some even on an international level. For instance, here at CMC, we get patients from all surrounding Arab countries. Even the Lebanese who live abroad in Middle East, Europe, and Africa chose to come back to Lebanon for medical attention, which speaks volumes on its own. Moreover, Lebanon has accredited hospitals; in fact, CMC just received its third consecutive JCI accreditation and the surveyors were so impressed with the level of care that they asked our permission to use our best practice guidelines as recommendations for other hospitals that they visit. At CMC we offer international standards of care and the latest developments in healthcare at a good price. A multilingual staff is available to coordinate all aspects of a patient's stay. Moreover, with our Johns Hopkins affiliation, patients have the option to seek Medical Second Opinion with Johns Hopkins doctors.

What other strategies and initiatives are being implemented to promote Lebanon as a medical destination?

CMC attends and participates in the largest international conferences and exhibitions in order to promote CMC and Lebanon. For instance, we participate annually in the Arab Health Exhibition, IMTEC, Med Health, Hospital Build, Iraq Medicare, Medica, World Health Medical Tourism, Global Healthcare Conference, Hospital Design and Infrastructure, and many more. Regarding private-public collaborations, we participate yearly in the Arabian Travel Market in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism. In addition, we hold events at CMC mainly in coordination with Johns Hopkins International and we have also worked with educational institutions. These events include a cardiology symposium, women's health symposium, anesthesia workshop, robotic surgery symposium, Orthopedic Video Conference with JHI, and cancer care forum, while in May we will be hosting the first Spine Summit.

What are CMC's regional ambitions?

Operating within a globalized world and with new healthcare trends continuously emerging, Clemenceau Medicine International (CMI), responsible for the advancement and spread of the Clemenceau Medicine's mission of patient care regionally and internationally, recognizes the importance of adopting and implementing the latest developments in the dynamic healthcare markets of the MENA region. With CMC's years of operating experience and affiliation with world-renowned institutions, Johns Hopkins Medicine International and JCI's consecutive accreditations, CMI's technical expertise and know-how ensure the development of modern institutions in accordance with the highest international quality standards. Being part of the Clemenceau Medicine Network warrants all members of the network to benefit from the skills and technical expertise of qualified physicians, nurses, and administrative staff, which in turn enables knowledge transfer and continuous communication and information sharing facilitated by advanced technological platforms. The CMI team consists of professionals with many years of experience in all aspects of healthcare whose main target is to plan, design, build, equip, and operate the most state-of-the-art healthcare institutions in the region. The Clemenceau Medicine concept revolves around the provision of a “continuum of care," starting with early diagnosis and ending with home care, to regional and international patients. The projects under construction abroad are a 200-bed medical center in Amman, Jordan in Al Abdali district, and a 200-bed medical center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Other projects are in the planning process for Cairo, the UAE, and Tunisia.

How do you envision CMC advancing in the long term, and what are your expectations for the year ahead?

CMC will continue to expand by building a network of CMC-affiliated hospitals in the region. In addition, CMC will keep advancing its healthcare services to assure that our patients receive the most up-to-date medical procedures and services. Specifically speaking, in 2016 we will be busy with the official opening of the CMC extension and the medical centers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

© The Business Year - April 2015