The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, has announced Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), a subsidiary of PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, as a centre of excellence for paediatric cardiac surgery. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City will provide babies and children with congenital heart diseases and related complications with comprehensive medical care, within the local community and globally.

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City was awarded the centre of excellence plaque at the ceremony held at Department of Health- Abu Dhabi’s headquarters that was attended by His Excellency Mansoor Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Chairman of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Her Excellency Dr Noura Khamis Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Rashed Al Qubaisi, Chief Corporate Officer at PureHealth, Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, Group Chief Executive Officer at SEHA, Bader Bader Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, and Dr Muna Al Hammadi, Acting Chief Medical Officer at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

As a centre of excellence for paediatric cardiac surgery, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City is the emirate’s leading centre in managing paediatric surgery, allowing patients access to a wide range of treatments and excellent cardiac healthcare services. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City’s appointment as a centre of excellence cements its position as a leading healthcare facility in Abu Dhabi, based on its patient-centred approach to healthcare focusing on evidence-based care, provision of coordinated care by a team of experts from various disciplines, integration of acute care and prevention, cooperation with other healthcare facilities, and community resources aiming to make healthcare accessible to everyone.

Her Excellency Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “Designating Sheikh Khalifa Medical City as a centre of excellence for paediatric cardiac surgery highlights DoH’s unwavering commitment to the continuous enhancement of patient access to world-class healthcare services. Centres of Excellence play a pivotal role in fortifying and enhancing competitiveness within the healthcare ecosystem, enabling healthcare facilities to elevate their standards and enhance patient outcomes, which comes in line with our efforts to further cement Abu Dhabi's position as a leading global healthcare destination.”

Dr Aysha Al Khoori, Executive Director Healthcare Facilities Sector at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: "At the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), we are committed to adopting excellence in healthcare services within the emirate, while continuously enhancing the delivery of comprehensive and timely healthcare services to all members of the community. Through the centres of excellence (CoE), we aim to achieve this, in addition to providing medical services and procedures of exceptional quality in specific clinical fields. These Centres direct their efforts to share their experiences and best practices with healthcare facilities to ensure the highest standards of excellence for patients, supporting research efforts and enhancing and advancing national competencies, thus contributing to improving the healthcare sector and ensuring its excellence.”

Rashed Al Qubaisi, Chief Corporate Officer of PureHealth said: “This recognition underscores the unwavering commitment of PureHealth and its subsidiaries, to deliver world-class healthcare services. We believe that the expertise and dedication of SKMC's team of specialists will make a significant difference in providing comprehensive medical care for children with congenital heart diseases not just locally but across the entire region and beyond. This achievement is a testament to our ongoing pursuit of excellence and our overarching mission to enhance health and wellbeing for all communities. As we celebrate this accomplishment, we remain dedicated to maintaining our track record of success and continuously striving for further milestones.”

Bader Bader Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Office at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City said: “We are proud to be designated as a centre of excellence in paediatric cardiac surgery by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, in line with our commitment to delivering excellence in this rare specialty. We are confident that our distinguished medical team will continue to perform these delicate heart surgeries with the highest level of care, provided with exceptional expertise and multidisciplinary resources. Our efforts are centred on delivering comprehensive, interdisciplinary treatments when managing and treating children with congenital heart disease (CHD) to achieve the best patient outcomes possible. The dedication, expertise, and compassion demonstrated by the pediatric cardiology and congenital cardiac surgery team at SKMC have not only saved lives but have also provided hope, comfort, and reassurance to families during their most vulnerable times. Being assigned as a centre of excellence is another testament to SKMC’s excellence and is part of an integrated system of services that we provide to both adults and children.”

Centres of excellence are healthcare facilities that are designated by Department of Health – Abu Dhabi to provide specialised programmes in particular medical areas, in line with best practices and highest quality standards. Centres of excellence stand out with their world-class infrastructure, highly skilled and internationally accredited workforce, multidisciplinary resources, cutting-edge technologies and latest healthcare innovations, and clinical and scientific research while delivering best-in-class healthcare to patients in the emirate and beyond.

Centres of excellence must meet the minimum standard requirements issued by Department of Health- Abu Dhabi, which outline the necessary criteria and prerequisites for licensed healthcare facilities seeking to acquire the designation. Department of Health – Abu Dhabi outlined six key indicators that are taken into consideration when evaluating whether the healthcare facility can be recognised as a centre of excellence. The indicators cover clinical outcomes, patient experience, patient safety and quality of medical services, levels of employee competency, and the facilities’ medical education, research strategies, and residency programmes. Department of Health – Abu Dhabi also assesses the accreditations to determine the healthcare facility’s eligibility to become a centre of excellence.