A NEW national initiative aimed at determining the best possible treatment for cancer and tumour patients in Bahrain will be launched next month.
The Tumour Board, comprising doctors and health professionals of different specialities, will meet regularly to review cases and recommend an appropriate course of action.
Through this multidisciplinary approach, patients can have access to a diverse team of experts in various disciplines such as surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, genetics and pathology.
Efforts will also be made by the board to restore the confidence of patients in the expertise available in Bahrain.
King Hamad University Hospital (KHUH) announced the launch of the board at a Press conference at the hospital in Muharraq yesterday.
It will be part of the BD31.8 million King Hamad Centre for Oncology.
“Any patient can ask his or her case be brought to the board which can then provide suggestions and recommendations to the patient’s original doctor,” said KHUH Commander Major General Dr Shaikh Salman bin Ateyatallah Al Khalifa.
“Every hospital in Bahrain has a tumour board but we are taking it to the national level.
“It will involve doctors from all over Bahrain. There will be a surgeon from the BDF Hospital, a doctor from the Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), a doctor from here (KHUH) and professionals from private hospitals.
“They can all bring their cases to the board. After all, two heads are better than one, so when they work together on a treatment plan, it will make a difference.
“The goal is to get the best possible treatment in Bahrain. If a case is not treatable in Bahrain, then we will arrange for treatment abroad.”
The board will also try to win back confidence of Bahraini patients who usually opt for treatment abroad.
Dr Shaikh Salman pointed out that many patients who go for treatment overseas end up getting exploited, either spending more money on unnecessary treatments or return to Bahrain with nothing to show for it.
A meeting will be held on February 22 by KHUH to inform all relevant doctors in Bahrain about the board and how other hospitals can transfer their cases to it.
The board will have a core team of 15 doctors but will also be open for people to apply to it in order to offer their assistance in available cases as well as learn from them.
“The goal of the board is to benefit from the experiences of experts in tumour diagnosis and treatments, and co-ordinating them through one unified system,” said King Hamad Centre for Oncology director Dr Elias Fadhel.
“The board can help put together a treatment plan even before the course begins. The plan will be comprehensive and made by all consulting doctors,” he said.
There were 450 new cancer cases in Bahrain in 2016, according to KHUH’s latest figures.
The GDN previously reported that the soft opening for the King Hamad Centre for Oncology will be held next month.
The second phase of the project is slated for July following which the centre will be officially inaugurated.
The centre hopes to take in all adult cancer patients from the SMC by the end of the year and all the paediatric patients by the end of next year.