Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital Launches Advanced Stroke Unit and 24×7 Urgent Care Program to Enhance Regional Healthcare Services

Muscat: Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital, part of the GCC’s leading integrated healthcare provider Aster DM Healthcare FZC, today announced the launch of the Aster Stroke Unit and Aster Urgent Care 24×7 program. Located in Al Ghubra, Muscat, the hospital is set to significantly enhance its regional healthcare services with these new facilities.

The inauguration ceremony was graced by  His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Salim Saif Al Mandhari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning and Health Organization, The Sultanate of Oman, who officially opened the new units in the presence of esteemed guests including Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, Group CEO, Aster Hospitals & Clinics, UAE, Oman & Bahrain; Shailesh Guntu, CEO of Aster Hospitals & Clinics, Oman; and Dr. Ali Al Balushi, Vascular Neurologist and Neuro-endovascular Surgeon, Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital, Oman.

Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital is now the first private hospital in the region to receive approval from the Ministry of Health for operating a dedicated Stroke Unit. This unit will be spearheaded by the renowned stroke specialist, Dr. Ali Al Balushi, Vascular Neurologist and Neuro-endovascular Surgeon. The unit, based on the principles of ‘BE FAST’—Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time—occupies the third floor of the hospital and is equipped with cutting-edge infrastructure and 24/7 availability of stroke care specialists, ensuring a systematic and efficient treatment pathway for all stroke patients.

The newly launched Aster Urgent Care 24×7 program is dedicated to providing prompt and efficient emergency care, ensuring that patients receive the urgent attention necessary to maximize their chances of a swift and successful recovery. Staffed by highly skilled clinicians and medical professionals, this unit is equipped to handle a broad spectrum of emergencies, offering rapid assessment, stabilization, and life-saving interventions, while seamlessly coordinating with all departments within the hospital to deliver comprehensive care around the clock. The departments include Cardio & Interventional Cardiology, Neurology, Gastro GI Bleed, Interventional Radiology, Urology, Nephrology, Emergency Team, Anesthesia, Ortho & Spine (to handle polytrauma), Hand Surgery, and Vascular. Additionally, the Aster Urgent Care 24×7 program includes ambulance services to ensure that critical patients are transported swiftly and safely to receive immediate care.

His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Salim Saif Al Mandhari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning and Health Organization, The Sultanate of Oman praised Aster DM Healthcare for establishing these advanced facilities, stating, “We commend Aster for establishing an advanced Stroke Unit and an Urgent Care 24×7 service. These units will serve as invaluable resources for our community, effectively managing surgical and trauma emergencies within the critical golden hour.”

Dr. Sherbaz Bichu, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aster Hospitals & Clinics, UAE, Oman & Bahrain, and a licensed practicing anesthetist, emphasized the importance of timely medical interventions, noting, “With a focus on advanced medical techniques and patient-centered care, we are poised to raise the bar in healthcare excellence. Time is of the essence for stroke victims, with each passing minute resulting in the loss of vital brain cells. Prompt treatment is crucial to preserve these cells, save lives, and enhance recovery outcomes. This is the driving force behind our launch of the Stroke and Urgent Care 24×7 program, enabling us to deliver specialized, life-saving care effectively to the people of Oman to ensure quality of life is restored. Our goal is to improve outcomes and enhance the quality of life for those affected by stroke, and this new facility is a crucial step towards achieving that vision.”

Dr. Ali Al Balushi, Vascular Neurologist and Neuro-endovascular Surgeon leading the stroke services at Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital in Oman expressed pride in the advancements, stating, “The Stroke Unit at Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital represents the latest stride in Oman’s ongoing innovation in stroke care and emergency neurologic support, aimed at saving and enhancing lives. Similarly, the introduction of Aster Urgent Care 24×7 exemplifies Aster’s commitment to providing immediate and critical care around the clock, ensuring that every patient receives the best possible chance at recovery.”’

Mr. Shailesh Guntu, Chief Executive Officer, Aster Hospitals & Clinics, Oman shared his enthusiasm, saying, “We are thrilled to be Oman’s first private hospital to establish a stroke unit and equally pleased to launch the Urgent Care 24×7 program. These initiatives set a new standard in medical care within the region and highlight our dedication to advancing healthcare services accessible around the clock. Through these critical developments, we are enhancing our capability to respond swiftly and effectively to any medical emergency, ensuring the highest level of care for our community.”

As part of the launch of Aster Urgent Care 24×7, a conference was hosted at the Intercity Hotel Muscat. This important event served as a cornerstone in emergency care, focusing on critical, life-threatening conditions. The conference featured insights from leading medical experts across Oman, showcased best practices from various medical fields, and offered unparalleled networking opportunities with healthcare professionals. Clinicians and doctors from the departments of cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, critical care, and trauma, all of whom will support Aster Urgent Care 24×7, were in attendance as speakers and panelists.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology to deliver the highest standard of care, Aster Royal Al Raffah Hospital, located in Muscat and boasting a 175-bed capacity across 25,000 square meters, is a hallmark of healthcare excellence and innovation not just in Oman but throughout the Middle East. The hospital is equipped with the latest technology and includes specialized centers such as a Cath-lab for advanced cardiac care, an interventional radiology center, an advanced urology center (home to Oman’s first Thulium Laser), a dialysis unit with CRRT, a neurosciences center, a sports medicine and orthopedics center, interventional gastroenterology, advanced therapeutic endoscopy, and a comprehensive center for women and child health. The dedicated team includes more than 150 doctors and 300 nurses.

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