RIYADH/JEDDAH: King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, on Tuesday will lay the foundation stone of a 300-bed cancer facility named King Abdullah Center for Tumors and Liver Diseases at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah, Minister of Health and Chairman of the King Faisal Hospital Board of Directors.
He said the advanced center will diagnose and treat cancer patients and result in a huge improvement in healthcare services.
The SR906 million project will have 21 floors and will be similar to advanced international centers. Spread over 23,183 square meters, the facility will have a capacity of 206 beds for tumor patients, 32 for intensive care, and 43 for liver disease patients.
It will also have eight hospitalization sections and 22 units for one-day surgeries.
Dr. Qasim Al-Qasabi, Executive Supervisor General of the hospital, said the center will have a radiology-treatment section with the latest equipment, 18 outpatient clinics for tumors, 18 clinics for bone marrow transplants and blood diseases, 14 clinics for liver diseases, and 12 surgery clinics and other clinics for different specialties. The center will also involve medical backup services including physical therapy, dentistry, blood bank and laboratories.
The center will have power provided by an advanced generation plant to be constructed on an area of 677 square meters, he added. Other facilities to be established include a medical waste-treatment building and parking lots.
He said the center will help to deal with the increasing numbers of tumor patients in the Kingdom. The Saudi National Record 2006 statistics showed there were 11,040 such patients in the country. This is likely to increase to 21,000 in 2020 given the current population growth rate.
Until 2009 the current hospital (King Faisal Specialist Hospital) dealt with about 67,108 cases, carried out 57,037 chemical treatment sessions, 191,139 radiation treatment sessions, and 2,269 stem-cell transplants, he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hadir Mustafa Mir, Director of the Tumors Section at King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Jeddah, said that more specialized doctors and centers are needed to treat the increasing number of cancer patients in the country.
He said this was particularly needed for some types of the disease, such as breast cancer and leukemia. He said that there is a 15 percent annual increase in such cases.
He said more centers must be built across the country to spare patients the inconvenience of traveling for treatment.
Dr. Iman Hashim Baroom, head of the Central Coordination Unit for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer Program in Jeddah, said more centers are needed, especially for children, with social and psychological services.
She said there was a lack of studies and research that was specific to Arab countries.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette