Dr Ali Alsuwaidi, a leading Emirati orthopedic consultant has emphasized the need to build capacity among Emirati orthopedics in the UAE, to serve the growing medical concerns of an aging Emirati population.
While there are a good number of respected hospitals and clinics in the country providing orthopedic care, there is still a need for well trained Emirati orthopedics consultants and specialists to serve alongside, and complement, the existing expatriate physicians. Training locally based orthopedics from now will ensure longer term continuity of critical health services, said Alsuwaidi, a recognized orthopedics expert in the UAE and the region.
“We are facing changing demographics, and a growing focus on active lifestyles. This is increasing the demand for orthopedic surgeons and specialists who can treat a wide range of bone related medical issues, especially those that are becoming more common among older citizens,” he said.
Dr Alsuwaidi is Founder and Managing Director of Tarmeem Orthopedic and Spine Day Surgery, which focuses on the treatment of musculoskeletal, sports medicine, and joint reconstruction.
Orthopedic specialists and consultants need to be properly equipped to focus on surgical, preventative and palliative care, through proper training and also through residencies where they can be rigorously trained, Dr Alsuwaidi suggested. “We are already seeing a growing need for surgical interventions in the aging population, such as hip replacement and ACL or Anterior Curciate Ligament (ACL) knee surgery, and this necessitates adequate upskilling of our medical capacities using the latest solutions and procedures.”
Dr Alsuwaidi alluded to data released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which indicates a marked increase in hip replacements among people 45 and over in the past decade.
The aging population in the US is driving a need for more orthopedic surgeons according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) which projects a shortage up of to 122,000 physicians by 2032. Of these, AAMC projects a shortage of up to 23,000 surgeons.
“The shortage in the supply of orthopedic surgeons is compounded in the US because of the dropping number of residencies, and the fact that about 60% of orthopedic surgeons in the US who are in active practice are older than 55 years old and reaching retirement age. In the UAE we need to prepare now to ensure that we have adequate capacity to serve the needs of our growing population over the coming decades.”
Tarmeem Orthopedic and Spine Day Surgery, located in Khalifa City in Abu Dhabi, focuses on serving the needs of primarily the Emirati population in the area who need quick, convenient and responsive orthopedic care. The centre focuses on treating hand and wrist; shoulder and elbow; foot and ankle; knee and hip treatment as well as managing the patient’s entire journey from pain relief to restoring mobility and wellness, to providing rehabilitation and preventative care.