The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched a dedicated walk-in clinic for private referrals for the treatment of endometriosis in Latifa Hospital, said a top DHA official.
Dr Nadia Al Sawalhi, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Latifa Hospital, said, “In the UAE, 7to 10% of women suffer from endometriosis and it is the third most common cause of hospitalization among female patients in the age group of 15 – 50 years. Presently Latifa Hospital is the only hospital in the region to have a dedicated endometriosis Centre offering medical and surgical services. As part of the services offered by the Centre, we decided to open a specialized walk-in clinic for patients with referrals from private hospitals because we receive a high number of referrals for endometriosis cases and we do not want these patients to wait for an appointment.”
She said, “The dedicated walk-in clinic will take place every Tuesday from the 24th of this month and the clinic will accept patients that have a referral from the private sector or a medical record showing that they have endometriosis. She added that all patients ( locals and expatriates) who are diagnosed with endometriosis at the DHA hospitals are automatically referred to the Centre and therefore the hospital decided to set-up a specialized clinic for patients with private sector referrals.”
She added, “The Centre is run is collaboration with IRCAD (Research Institute against Digestive Cancer) that provides training for all kinds of endoscopic surgeries including gynecological minimally invasive surgeries.”
She said, “In future, for feto-maternal screening services, which is not widely available in the UAE, and for the services provided by the Endometriosis Centre, including surgery; the hospital will begin to accept several private health insurance cards. Presently, patients who have private insurance policies are reimbursed by their insurance companies as per their policy status, however before the end of this year, they will have the facility of direct billing, if their policy includes that.”
Dr. Ghassan Lotfi, Consultant in gynecological and laparoscopic surgery at Latifa hospital, said, “Since this dedicated clinic was established in September 2012, on an average, the clinic receives six patients, including follow-up patients, per week. On an average, we treat 400 patients per year and conduct 70 surgeries for endometriosis.”
He said, “Endometriosis is categorized as a chronic disease, which affects women in their reproductive age. Endometriosis is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity. This subsequently causes chronic pain, adhesions and infertility.”
Dr. Lotfi explained, “Symptoms of endometriosis include different types of pain in the lower back and abdomen during the menstrual cycle. Other side-effects include nausea, migraines, chronic fatigue. Moreover, the disease is known to cause infertility in 30 to 40% of the women with the disease.” He added, “Laparoscopic surgery is one of the treatment options for endometriosis. The surgery helps remove lesions formed by the disease. The surgery takes an hour to four hours depending on the severity of the condition.”