Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is preparing to open additional specialised pain clinics across its network of hospitals in order to provide improved therapeutic care for each and every one of its patients.

The pain clinics are being planned for Hamad General Hospital (HGH), National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), and Al Wakra, Rumailah, Heart, Women’s and Al Khor Hospitals.

Consultant anesthesiologist and Head of Chronic Pain Management at HMC, Dr Wael Saleem, said:

Our aim is to increase the number of pain clinics in Hamad General, Rumailah, NCCCR and Al Wakra Hospitals, in order to reduce waiting times and to ensure patients receive the safest, most compassionate and most effective care.’

According to Dr Saleem, the new pain clinics are being overseen by the pain management team within the Anesthesia Department at HMC and are founded on modern evidence-based pain management guidelines and protocols. Pain management is a branch of medicine employing an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with pain. He said:

By establishing the new clinics across our network of hospitals, we will be able to increase the range of interventional pain procedures we can offer, which will further consolidate the existing acute and chronic pain services.’

According to Dr Saleem, restructuring of the Acute Pain Service at HGH has already been completed and a similar service will follow at Women’s and Al Khor Hospitals. He said:

In each HMC hospital, a clinical coordinator will be allocated to the acute pain service. We already have the Chronic Pain Service in HGH and NCCCR and the most recently opened pain clinic at Al Wakra Hospital (AWH) has been operational since January this year. This will be followed by Women’s, Al Khor and Heart Hospitals.’

Four senior doctors from the pain management team will care for patients at the AWH Pain Clinics inclduing Dr Nick Scott, Vice Chairman of HMC Anesthesia and Chairman of Pain Services, Dr Wael Saleem, Head of Pain Medicine, Dr Zahir Lemtai and Dr Mutasem Iqnaibi, Anesthesia Specialists at AWH. Dr Saleem said:

Though only about 3,000 patients visit the pain clinics at HGH, Rumailah and NCCCR every year, the post-operative acute pain cases are in the region of 9,000 cases per year. A further 400 cases require interventional procedures during 2014.’

The pain clinic at AWH opens twice a week on Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:30 am to 3 pm. The clinic is open to all categories of patients including children and adults, males and females.

Head of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at AWH, Dr Ibrahim El Boursaly, said:

Our main aim is to ensure patients get the best care possible when they visit our new pain clinic at AWH. Since opening this existing new service, we have been able to reduce the wait time and list at HGH’s day care unit. Pain management is a new expanding field within anesthesia, which requires a multidisciplinary approach in order to be able to deliver good patient management and satisfaction. Our patients usually need physiotherapy, radiological, and laboratory services, in addition to chronic pain management specialists and members of a psychotherapy team. In addition, in order to provide a comprehensive service, we intend to incorporate all forms of alternative medicine in due course.’

HMC has been the principal public healthcare provider in the state of Qatar for over three decades and is dedicated to delivering the safest, most effective and compassionate care to all patients. The Corporation manages eight hospitals, incorporating five specialist hospitals and three community hospitals. HMC also manages the National Ambulance Service as well as home and residential care, all accredited by Joint Commission International. HMC is leading the development of the region’s first academic health system and is committed to building a legacy of healthcare expertise in Qatar. They collaborate with partners who are key experts in Qatar and beyond, including Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Partners Healthcare, Boston.