DON’T WORRY, I’M A DOCTOR

Qatar 2020 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

With the medical center's facilities and treatments in tip-top shape, Aspetar is at the top of its game for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al Kuwari
BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Abdulaziz Al Kuwari is an orthopedic surgeon who completed medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, before doing an orthopedic residency at Hamad Medical Corporation. This was followed by a two-year Complex Spine Fellowship at University of Western Ontario, Canada, where he also completed a master's in spine biomechanics. He is the first Qatari orthopedic spine surgeon. He started practicing at Aspetar in 2014, when he was appointed assistant program director of orthopedic surgery. In addition to helping patients, Dr. Al Kuwari is a co-founder and director of Qatar Cyclists Centre. He is a health activist who believes that sports is a way of life, and he has contributed to many health initiatives promoting health and well-being.

Aspetar is the first specialized orthopedic and sports medicine hospital in the Gulf. What have been the main milestones of Aspetar?
One milestone is being part of Aspire Zone Foundation, which is comprised of three organizations (Aspire Academy, Aspetar, and Aspire Logistics). 2009 was special as we became the region's first FIFA Medical Center of Excellence. We also partnered with different organizations locally, regionally, and globally to establish ASPREV, the Sports Groin Pain Center. In 2013, Aspetar received the distinction of being a reference medical center for GCC Health Ministers Council and in 2015, Aspetar was designated as an 'IOC Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.' We have received recognitions and achieved ACI Diamond Level Accreditation. We have enjoyed our partnerships that we have built and nurtured, like with the Aspetar Sports Surgery Training Center. We owe our success to visionary leadership and our staff who has worked tirelessly to shape Aspetar.

What are the main services that you offer and their quality?
As a multidisciplinary sport medicine hospital, our services go far beyond surgical treatment for injured athletes. We incorporate preventive programs, physical coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and sports psychologists. We cater to professional and recreational athletes. We have services for injured athletes and those targeting performance enhancement using our considerable expertise and facilities that include heat chamber and altitude dorms. Our rehabilitation services are consistently ranked highly by all patients. We learn from our patients and do patient surveys. We strive hard to foster an open culture for discussing incidents and complaints, and we look at root causes to understand the underlying problem and identify areas that need improvement. Aspetar has become the treatment and rehabilitation destination of choice for elite athletes from around the world including Neymar, Didier Drogba, yay Toure, and Moussa Demble. Aspetar has also become a destination for elite training camps that come to benefit from Aspetar's altitude acclimatization facility.

How is the role of your institution aligned with the objectives dictated by the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030 to diversify the economy?
Every organization's journey towards QNV 2030 is unique. Aspetar's contribution touches upon different pillars of the QNV 2030. For example, we contribute toward development of human resources in the niche areas of healthcare through a partnership with Weil Cornell Medical College and Qatar University providing their graduates work experience in our hospitals. A recent MoU was signed between Carnegie Mellon University Branch Campus for research collaboration and knowledge sharing. We continue to support Qatar national teams and our federation as an exclusive medical partner. With our cutting-edge practices, we are on a pathway to promote health tourism in the state of Qatar. We are building an agile revenue cycle to fuel business growth and allow contributions toward the local economy.

What is the outlook of your institution for the year ahead?
2019 is the last leg in our journey to our vision to be global leader in sports medicine and exercise science by 2020. As this is a year of reflection, we need to review of our journey and acknowledge the shift we must make in how we run our operations. Another significant aspect will be our increased focused on employee-centered activities and development plans. On the clinical front, we are in the process of creating a unique football medicine program that will serve the football athlete, to reduce the amount of athletes seeking medical services internationally, in the lead up to the FIFA 2022 World Cup. We are looking to expand the visiting surgeon program to attract high-level athletes locally, regionally, and internationally to Aspetar's surgical and rehabilitation care. We intend to grow our business for the athlete and serve the physically active population of Qatar to promote health and wellbeing.