Thomas Terranova answers questions from the media on Sunday at Four Seasons Hotel-Dubai International Financial Centre. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
An internationally-recognised US healthcare accreditation body will begin consultation and conduct of certification procedures on day surgery centres in Dubai next week, in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgeries Facilities (AAAASF) executive director Thomas Terranova added they will also start steering seminars and on-site training for the build-up of qualified assessors for the universally-accepted endorsements in the region.
Terranova met the press on Sunday in Dubai after Emirates Plastic Surgery Society (EPSS) president Dr Zuhair Al Fardan had corresponded with him several weeks back regarding the May 21 DHA circular on the obligatory accreditation of all day surgery centres across Dubai.
The circular mandates all the 22 day surgery centres in Dubai to undergo accreditation procedures and approvals by international accreditation organisations to ensure compliance and continuous adherence to global standards on patient’s safety.
EPSS member and MedArt Clinic (Day Surgery Centre) plastic surgery specialist Dr Tarek Bayazid told Gulf Today that aside from AAAASF, three other international accreditation entities from the US, Canada and Australia, had been identified by DHA to handle the required accreditation.
“The applicants like us are free (to select) which among the four we want to accredit us. It was a wise decision of the DHA in order to raise the standards of day surgery centres. Complications and accidents sometimes do happen. But with (international) accreditation, these will be lessened. We (will be obliged) to always follow international policies and procedures,” Bayazid said.
MedArt Clinic will be the second day surgery centre in Dubai to go through the AAAASF procedures. The 40-year-old accreditation body is set to check on another day surgery centre in the emirate, for the renewal of its endorsement, first approved in 2016.
The announcement on the May 21 DHA circular came about at the May 14 press conference of DHA Director General Humaid Al Qutami wherein he said the government entity is tightening its grip on all 3,371 public and private health and medical institutions in Dubai to ensure patient’s safety.
In that press conference, Al Qutami stated that “day surgery centres which do not get the needed accreditation within 18 months from the date of the circular, will automatically get downgraded as a polyclinic. This means that these will no longer be allowed to perform any day surgeries.”
From that press conference, Al Qutami added that “centres that are established in the future also have 18 months from the date of license (to get international accreditation).”
The decision was related to two severe to fatal medical surgeries between April and early May. The first case involved a 24-year-old Emirati woman who became comatose when undergoing the non-cosmetic surgery of Septoplasty to correct her “deviated septum” on her nose. The second was a hip replacement surgery that caused the death of an Indian lady.
Terranova said the lecture series and on-site training of 11 physicians and medical specialists as well as nurses on the globally-accepted standard operating procedures for the assessment of day surgery centres will be on July 23 and 24.
The trainer for the on-site training programme is a surgeon based in New Jersey. He is among the AAAASF-affiliated practising medical and health professionals and trained qualified assessors.
AAAASF believes that the accreditation of any healthcare-related unit and establishment anywhere in the world will be more credible if executed and analyzed by the people within the sector itself.
Aside from the US, AAASF plantilla of assessors are in Costa Rica for the Latin American accreditation. There is one assessor in Macedonia for Europe. AAAASF has 200 considerations for the accreditation.
These include medical and staff qualifications in accordance to government-recognised board certifications; general upkeep, maintenance, cleanliness and hygiene; easy, proper, correct, quick and accessible documentation to all medical records with sufficient back-ups for which all the medical and non-medical staff must know how; patient’s safety procedures; IV fluids and medications/drugs; anaesthesia procedures and everything related to correct usage; emergency power; equipment availability and list.
AAAASF conducts surprise inspections for which all its accredited institutions such as day surgery centres must strictly observe every day.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is tightening its clutch on all 3,371 public and private health and medical facilities or institutions the regulatory body has approved to operate in the Emirate of Dubai to guarantee patients’ safety.
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The health authority announced in a statement that it is providing this service through its 'Doctor for Every Citizen' initiative, which was launched by the authority last December to fulfil the goals of Article 5 of the Fifty-Year Charter.
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