International patient agreement allows tele-collaboration between Philadelphia-area and Kuwait based physicians

Philadelphia 05 June 2001Philadelphia International Medicine (PIM) and the Al-Bader Group, through its International Telemedical Services, have signed a contract which aims at facilitating Kuwait and other Gulf country patients in obtaining quality and affordable medical care. The two organisations will establish a telecommunication link between physicians based in Philadelphia and their counterparts in the Gulf, and work to improve the continuum of care for patients who may need medical care abroad.

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The agreement establishes Philadelphia International Medicine as a second-opinion and patient referral source for the Al-Bader Group. The Al-Bader Group, in turn, is contracting with the relevant institutional health care providers in the Gulf and other countries to bring about cost-efficiencies and patient referral system improvements. The Al-Bader Group has offices in Virginia and Kuwait and a distribution network throughout the Middle East and India.

Through the agreement, the two parties will work to incorporate emerging communication technologies in order to enhance and speed exchanges of medical reports, second opinions and treatment options, patient referral scheduling, and physician-to-physician communication. "This contract is a significant first step in bringing together the physicians from the Greater Philadelphia area with their peers in the Middle East. It is a building block which promises to lead to better co-ordination of medical care delivered in a cost-effective manner, whether at home or here in this region", stated Leonard Karp, executive vice president and COO of PIM.

Yousef Al-Bader, managing director of the Al-Bader Group, noted that the agreement builds a strong bridge linking the many world class health care organisations in Philadelphia with the Kuwaiti people and government. The agreement establishes the nine hospitals which make up the Philadelphia International Medicine network as a central point of contact, which ensures confidentiality and continuity of services. Physicians from PIM will be available to provide alternative treatment options, or to consult with the referring physician in the Middle East.

Through this programme, it is estimated that many cases now referred to international hospitals in Europe and the United States will be able to be treated at home. In those instances when care may not be available at home, the Al-Bader Group will be in a position to facilitate through PIM medical appointments in Philadelphia utilising a pre-negotiated pricing methodology. "While both organisations are very pleased as we begin to implement our agreement, we both recognise there are future opportunities beyond the scope of the current agreement. We will work together to develop our services in new markets", commented Michael K. Bender, senior advisor to the chairman of the Al-Bader Group and senior manager of its International Telemedical Services division.

The two organisations are exploring new telemedicine technology that will help speed second opinions and transmission of medical reports, and health care training and continuing medical education. Philadelphia International Medicine is an organisation providing medical and patient support services to international patients. It equally offers continuing medical education and health care training to international physicians, administrators, and other practitioners.

The hospitals which make up Philadelphia International Medicine include the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, MossRehab Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, Temple University Hospital, the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

The Al-Bader Group is a privately held consortium of Kuwaiti companies. The company was founded in 1962 with a group of four family shareholders. The Al-Bader Group has its main office location in central Kuwait City. It is active in a variety of sectors including life and health insurance, information technology, medical and dental equipment, stationery, cargo and travel, and tourism, serving the Middle East and subcontinent of India.


Leslie Versweyveld

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