SEHA launches 6th Mas’ool community town hall initiative in its healthcare facilities
After the success achieved in previous sessions, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) is set to launch a new session of its Mas’ool initiative in a bid to strengthen community outreach and relations. During the programme, direct meetings between patients, their families and officials from SEHA and its healthcare facilities, will be organised on a regular basis.
The sixth session of Mas’ool will include the holding of three meetings, which will be held between Monday 16th and Wednesday 18th September at the Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS). This will be followed by further meetings which will take place on Wednesday, September 18th at all SEHA’s facilities. The meeting with special needs patients is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25th, while the final meeting will be with homecare patients, and will be held on Tuesday, October 1st.
These meetings will take place within a friendly, informal atmosphere, during which patients and their families will be afforded the opportunity to interact directly with decision-makers and officials at SEHA hospitals. The intent behind this meeting is twofold; firstly, to give opportunities for performance to be assessed, and secondly, to identify patients’ views on the healthcare that they have received.
The institutions participating in the Mas’ool initiative are Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), MafraqHospital, Al Rahba Hospital, CornicheHospital, Al Ain Hospital, TawamHospital, SEHA Dialysis Centre, some of the Al Gharbia hospitals, and AHS.
The first session of the Mas’ool initiative, launched on September 13, 2011, was very successful, having been attended by 455 people, followed by 675 people in the second session, which was launched on December 20, 2011. Later sessions were even more strongly attended, with 730 people having participated in the third session, and both the fourth and fifth sessions having attracted nearly 880 attendees.
The Mas’ool initiative has achieved positive results that have greatly benefited the public. Once direct meetings between hospital officials and their patients have taken place, each hospital sends a report to SEHA’s Customer Service and Care Management. This report includes the number of complaints received and action to be taken by the hospital management, as well as giving details of any service-related initiatives which can be implemented by hospitals which have arisen from patients’ suggestions and feedback. A discussion is also held on all of the topics that have been raised, and any action that has been taken with regard to problems faced by patients of the hospitals. This process enables SEHA’s Management to follow up on the information presented within the report, and obtain updates from hospitals regarding each plan and procedure.
SEHA has instigated a number of measures to meet the requirements of clients of its healthcare facilities based on observations made by those patients during previous years of the Mas’ool initiative. Consequently, SEHA has strengthened the capacity of its hospitals by increasing the number of beds and doctors in some of its hospitals, providing some hospitals with advanced medical devices that are appropriate for the needs of each health facility, and introducing radical changes to the ICUs.
In addition, SEHA has increased the number of service desks and reception area windows in pharmacies for patients and visitors, improved food services, and increased the number of parking lots in most of its hospitals and outpatient clinics. Valet parking has also been a welcome introduction in many health facilities, and many other services have also been provided, such as cafeterias and flower shops, all of which serves the purpose of providing high-quality healthcare for patients and visitors alike.
Khalifa Al-Ketbi, Deputy Chief of Operations at SEHA, stated, “The Mas’ool initiative aims to enhance communication between SEHA hospitals and its health facilities on the one hand, and between patients and Abu Dhabi residents on the other. SEHA officials are keen to understand the needs of patients and take on board their views and ideas. This will help decision-makers at SEHA to build a high-level model of health services that cater to the needs of the patients, and which are consistent with their expectations.”
He continued: “SEHA is keen to promote direct communication with patients and their families, and these meetings provide these people with the opportunity to access persons in positions of authority in an immediate and effective manner. Patients can deliver their ideas, suggestions and complaints (if any) in all frankness, and with transparency. This strengthens the role of community members as true partners, which will in turn enable SEHA to achieve excellence from the public’s perspective. These meetings also help the public learn more about SEHA HealthSystem, its services and future plans.
SEHA is committed to the development of a world-class healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company recognises that excellence requires transparency and an ethos of regular feedback from stakeholders and patients. This new outreach initiative branded as ‘Mas’ool’ is an attempt to create open and informal channels of communication with customers who are directly impacted by healthcare provision standards. Through this initiative, SEHA and its facilities aim at establishing clear channels that contribute to the recognition of people's feedback objectively, ensuring that stakeholder and customer opinions are given great attention and credence.
SEHA is the corporate marketing name of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, an independent public joint stock company that owns and operates all public hospitals and clinics across the emirate. ‘SEHA’ is a phonetic rendering of the Arabic word for health.
The company was established by Emiri Decree No 10 of 2007 and is a leading participant in the reform of Abu Dhabi’s healthcare sector. The reform seeks to upgrade and improve healthcare delivery to the public at a level comparable to the finest healthcare systems in the world. The program began by separating management and regulation – SEHA assumed responsibility for public healthcare centers and hospitals, while Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HA-AD) was established to regulate the public and private sectors. The two organizations replaced the General Authority for Health Services (GAHS), previously responsible for both roles.