Via the Saudi Gazette: Critical care practices make giant strides in Kingdom.
As Saudi Arabia faces novel healthcare challenges, the development of the Kingdom’s critical care initiative has taken the driver's seat. At the forefront is the Saudi Critical Care Society (SCCS), which recently organized a successful, multidisciplinary event here in the capital.
Talking exclusively to Saudi Gazette, Dr. Yasser Mandourah, president of SCCS, discussed the progress in the critical care practices in the Kingdom.
“We are targeting all segments of healthcare workers in critical care – not only physicians,” he said, adding that tangible progress can only take place with the involvement of all parties responsible for the patients’ well-being. These parties include nurses, technicians, and even administrators, promoting an efficient approach in dealing with critical cases.
“(We) look at everything from acute medicine, to surgery and traumas,” he explained. Dr. Mandourah believes this integrated approach to be a key factor in improving the practices of such a multifaceted field that is still young in the Kingdom.
“Modern critical care as we know it today was only known to professionals in medicine in the early 70s.
“In Saudi Arabia, this did not reach our hospitals until the mid-90s.
“From there, we had to catch up with new, modern medicine, and since then many physicians have graduated from North America to work in (critical care) in Saudi Arabia.”
When asked if critical care is at an ideal point in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mandourah said only ten percent of what is needed in terms of trained professionals are active and well-defined in the workforce, while demand increases.
“We have to catch up with this deficit and increasing demand; there are many projects and a lot of development within the society,” he said, adding that every branch of healthcare, from the Ministry of Health to private practices, has put in place plans to develop critical care response to meet the global standards.
Being the sole representative of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) in the Kingdom, SCCS is actively seeking out new programs to train their 1,500-plus members in a variety of courses that relate to every aspect of critical care — from intensive care to rapid response.
“In recent years, we have seen full-house attendance – this was our first milestone,” Dr. Mandourah said reflecting on the recent SCCS-SCCM conference in Riyadh.
The second milestone, he said, was training: “Training has always been one of our major interests, because critical care depends on skills, which need to be acquired by the health care worker.”
“We have conducted an extensive program of upscaling healthcare practitioners in the Ministry of Health and in other government sectors such as the military, National Guard, as well as the private sector.”
“Since 2007 we have acquired sponsored education grants that benefited over 65,000 trainees.”
As the Kingdom faces rising cases of MERS virus, it is becoming increasingly important to have in place right systems to improve and maintain the healthcare of the general public. With SCCS at the cusp of this paradigm shift, Dr. Mandourah assures that much is being done to raise and protect the general well-being of the nation.