MUSCAT — December 2, 2023: Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital, Al Ghubra, Oman has today launched the Aster Centre of Excellence (COE) in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Therapeutic Endoscopy, reaffirming its dedication to providing cutting-edge medical care in Oman. Spanning 25,750 square meters, the 175-bed multispecialty tertiary care facility now stands ready to serve Oman’s 5 million population, symbolising excellence and innovation in healthcare across Oman and the Middle East.
The Aster COE is led by esteemed senior consultants, Dr Ashik Sainu Mohiyadeen and Dr Hisham Al Dhahab, both renowned for their expertise and exceptional contributions to the field of gastroenterology. Dr Ashik Sainu, with extensive international training and accreditation in Gastroenterology, boasts over two decades of experience and holds fellowships in advanced endoscopy from prestigious institutions in the UK. Meanwhile, Dr Hisham Al Dhahab, trained in Ireland and Canada, holds degrees in MBBS, MRCP, and FACP, along with a Fellowship in Advanced Endoscopy from McGill University, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in advanced endoscopy to the forefront of his practice.
This department comprises two specialist gastroenterologists and a fellow in gastroenterology, collectively serving a pivotal role in the hospital’s achievements. Over the past decade, the Aster Centre of Excellence in Gastrointestinal Diseases has performed 20,000 upper endoscopies, 15,000 lower endoscopies, 2,000 ERCP procedures, 2,000 gastric balloons, and various other therapeutic interventions. Notably, the COE houses a dedicated GI motility lab and provides 24/7 GI bleed services to the population of Oman.
The Aster COE introduces Third Space Endoscopy services encompassing innovative procedures like POEM, EFTR, ESD, STER, spearheaded by globally acclaimed therapeutic Endoscopist, Dr Amol Bapaye. This specialised service marks a pioneering advancement previously unavailable in the country.
Moreover, the COE seamlessly integrates with a team of skilled surgeons, interventional radiologists, critical care physicians, and anesthetists, offering a multidisciplinary approach to address complex GI problems comprehensively.
The Aster COE in Gastroenterology boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure on a dedicated floor, including technologically advanced endoscopy and fluoroscopic suites, GI motility labs, a comprehensive array of endoscopes and accessories, and a liver elastography machine to aid in early liver disease diagnosis.
Dr Ashik Sainu Mohiyadeen, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterologist Hepatologist & Therapeutic Endoscopist, Aster Royal All Rafah Hospital, said, “The launch of Third Space Endoscopy Services in Oman marks a pioneering milestone, filling a significant void in the GCC region. By extending our services beyond Oman, we aim to bridge the gap in minimally invasive procedures such as POEM, EFTR, ESD, and STER, which are presently limited to select centers in the UAE. Our collaboration with Dr Amol Bapaye, a globally recognized third space Endoscopist, ensures that these advanced procedures are made accessible, not just locally but across the GCC. This initiative sets the stage for Oman’s emergence as a hub for cutting-edge gastroenterological care and presents an enticing medical tourism opportunity for the entire region.”
Dr Hisham Al Dhahab, Senior Consultant, Gastroenterologist Hepatologist & Therapeutic Endoscopist, Aster Royal All Rafah Hospital underscores the transformative impact of this endeavor, adding, “The commencement of Third Space Endoscopy Services in Oman signifies a leap forward in meeting the escalating demand for advanced minimally invasive procedures within the GCC. Through Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital, we are not only introducing these innovative techniques but also positioning ourselves as pioneers in the region. Our goal is not just to cater to local needs but to attract patients seeking specialized treatments, elevating Oman’s status as a healthcare destination for high-quality gastroenterological care across the GCC.”
Commenting on the launch, Shailesh Guntu, Chief Executive Officer, Aster Hospitals and Clinics, Oman, said, “Today’s launch of the Aster Centre of Excellence in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Therapeutic Endoscopy reaffirms our commitment to pioneering advancements in healthcare. We take pride in Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital’s unique position as one of the top healthcare facilities in the region capable of delivering intricate gastro procedures with unmatched expertise. This Center of Excellence marks a transformative milestone, aligning with our vision to elevate healthcare standards and accessibility not just within Oman but across the Middle East. The introduction of groundbreaking Third Space Endoscopy services underlines our dedication to offering innovative treatments and reinforces our position as leaders in providing comprehensive, cutting-edge medical care.”
Photos: V K Shafeer