Saudi Arabia and KSFH East Bldg


King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC) is among one of the largest employers in the medical sector in the Kingdom. And I can personally attest that it attracts some of the finest whether expats from abroad or Saudi nationals who have chosen KFSH&RC as their employer. And so many of those finest are staff assigned to the KFSH&RC East Building. East Building is exclusively for patients being treated for acute leukemia and who also require bone marrow and stem cell transplants.

If a patient has been diagnosed with acute leukemia or some other rare form of cancer, KFSH&RC is THE PLACE for treatment in the Kingdom. However it should be noted that only KFSH employees or dependents of an employee or Saudi nationals can be treated at KFSH&RC. It does have a business centre so perhaps expats can have some treatments conducted through the business centre but I am not certain of this.

KFSH&RC and particularly the King Faisal Cancer Center are internationally known for activities, research and developments in the field of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. 13-15 November 2007 KFSH&RC hosted one of the world’s largest international symposiums on Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplantation bringing in more than 60 experts from around the world who presented their findings and developments in the area of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. For those interested in viewing more about the proceedings, they can be found at this link.

It takes a certain kind of individual whether a doctor, nurse, technician or even the admin staff to work with leukemia patients and KFSH&RC has brought in the best of the best. Everyone in East Building is dedicated, compassionate, emphatic, caring and always professional. They see each and every patient and their extended family as an individual. They are accustomed to working under pressure and are real pros at working under pressure. The staff at East Building is a cohesive team which is essential when working among acute leukemia patients.

I would like to list each and every individual associated with East Building by name but I fear I would accidentally omit or forget some and all deserve a big round of public appreciation. I will however mention some of the physicians who in my view are not only among the finest in Saudi Arabia but outstanding representatives of professionals in oncology and hematology:

Dr. Mahmoud Aljurf – A Saudi national who will likely go down as one of Saudi’s pioneers in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. He is a tireless individual and one of the most dedicated physicians to his profession and his patients.

Dr. Waleed – An Australian national who has chosen to come and practice at KFSH. His bedside manner and demeanor can put any patient or family member at ease. His mere presence inspires trust and confidence.

Dr. Musa – A South African national who has the gentlest manner and years of experience with acute leukemia patients.

Dr. Alsharif – A Saudi national who is also a leading figure in Saudi Arabia in the studies and practices of acute leukemia. He is a soft spoken man who gains instant respect.

Dr. Saleh – A Bangledishi national who is a great pride for his home country. His patients in Saudi Arabia are so fortunate to have him as an attending physician. He has a no-nonsense attitude and takes the very best care of his patients. He knows how to be tough if necessary and even willing to contradict the traditions and culture if it is in the best interests of protecting a patient and his or her immunity.

The nursing team are the silent heros of East Building. They come from all around the globe. Each and every nurse whom I have met has been dedicated, professional and an expert. They work tirelessly while maintaining their sense of humor. Although knowing arabic is not a mandatory requirement to administer nursing care, every single one of the nurses with whom I’ve had contact has made a determined effort to learn arabic, particularly as it can enhance patient-nurse understanding.

Although one would not wish anyone to be diagnosed with acute leukemia, if in Saudi Arabia, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre’s East Building is the place to be.

It should also be noted that signficant advances have been made in the field of acute leukemia. In earlier years once diagnosed with acute leukemia the main hope was to put a patient into a remission to “give them additional years.” However today with advances in directed chemotherapy treatments and especially with stem cell transplantation, acute leukemia is curable. It is not only a disease which affects the patient but the whole family. It should not be hidden. A comprehensive support network is essential for the patient and the family members. Acute leukemia can be a rough roller coaster ride but thankfully today there is a positive light at the end of the tunnel!


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