Health Care In Syria Is ‘hell On Earth,’ Doctors Say


(REUTERS/Molhem Barakat) Syrias once sophisticated health system is at breaking point and parts of the country are completely cut off from any kind of medical service because of deliberate and systematic attacks on medical facilities and staff, senior doctors said on Monday. Horrific injuries go untended, women are giving birth with no medical care and patients battling cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as victims of sexual violence, have nowhere to turn, 55 medical professionals from across the world said in a joint letter in The Lancet medical journal. More than half of Syrias hospitals have been destroyed or badly damaged in attacks, nearly 470 health professionals are imprisoned, and about 15,000 doctors have been forced to flee abroad, said the letters signatories. Such attacks are an unconscionable betrayal of the principle of medical neutrality, wrote the doctors, who include Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director-general of the World Health Organization and Hany El Banna, founder of the Humanitarian Forum and Islamic Relief. Of the 5,000 physicians in the city of Aleppo before the conflict started, only 36 remain, the letter said. Syrians are providing the bulk of medical care, but they are struggling in the face of massive need and dangerous conditions. Over half a million people have been injured and Syrians are undergoing (caesarian) sections and amputations without anaesthetic. Its hell on earth, said El Banna said in a separate statement. I am very concerned by the deliberate and systematic attacks on medical facilities and personnel in Syria, Brundtland, who is also deputy chair of the group of global leaders The Elders, added in the statement. The government is refusing visas for aid personnel entering the country, and rebel groups are blocking medical supply convoys, Brundtland said. These restrictions, coupled with inflexibility and bureaucracy in the international aid system, are making things worse, the letter said. Syria is almost certainly the most dangerous place in the world to be a doctor, Fatima Hamroush, another signatory and former minister of health in the Libyan transitional government and consultant ophthalmologist, added in the statement. There is no acceptable reason why full unimpeded access for all doctors needed into Syria should not be granted immediately to prevent further medical catastrophe,” she said. The signatories are urging the Syrian government and rebel groups to lift restrictions on humanitarian access. They also say governments backing either the Syrian government or the rebels should demand an end to attacks on medical personnel and facilities and demand that armed parties allow medical supplies and care to reach Syrians.

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Concierge doctors a growing practice

The only way to maintain his earnings was to see more patients. “I knew I was being compromised by seeing patients every eight to 10 minutes just to keep the doors open,” he said. Two years ago, Padour changed his practice to a model attracting doctors and debate across the nation. Patients now pay him an $1,800 membership fee that allows him to see fewer people and spend more time with each of them. A roster that once hovered at 2,000 patients is now at 300. The annual fee guarantees an extensive physical, including tests on lung function, vision, heart, anxiety, diet and other aspects of wellness. Patients get Padour’s cell phone number. They are guaranteed immediate access and, perhaps most important, more time with the doctor. If they end up in the hospital or a nursing home, he follows them there for treatment. Growing practice Some doctors call it a concierge practice. Others, frustrated over what they say is a misperception that the service attracts only wealthy patients, prefer direct primary care or personalized care.

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Update: 2013 List of Best Doctors in Dallas Features Texas Institute for Surgery Physicians

Finance Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 1:08 PM EDT – U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 52 mins Stock Watch Update: 2013 List of Best Doctors in Dallas Features Texas Institute for Surgery Physicians Press Release: Texas Institute for Surgery 2 hours 17 minutes ago Print DALLAS, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — More than 30 physicians credentialed to practice at Texas Institute for Surgery at Texas Heath Presbyterian Dallas (TIS) are recognized by D Magazine in its October issue, Best Doctors 2013. Best Doctors is an annual peer-review voting process. The nomination form asked board-certified doctors to cast a vote bearing in mind the following question: Which Dallas doctors would you trust with the care of a loved one? “Texas Institute for Surgery is proud to provide the highest in quality surgeons and staff to our patients”, said TIS President David Helfer, FACHE. “At TIS, we believe we have some of the most highly acclaimed surgeons in Dallas. Having many of our surgeons recognized by local physicians, and D Magazine as Dallas’ Best Doctors supports that belief”. Texas Institute for Surgery offers a full range of surgical procedures including orthopedic, spine, pain management and ENT, among others. D Magazine recognized surgeons from nearly every specialty offered at TIS. TIS received the Dallas 100 Award from the SMU Cox Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship for six consecutive years. TIS was also a winner in the 2010 Greater Dallas Business Ethics Awards. TIS active status doctors who are listed as Best Docs by specialty are: Cosmetic/Reconstructive Surgery

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