Samaritan introduces special surgical center to Ethiopia

Samaritan Surgical Center has introduced a state of the art facility that incorporates the latest surgery theatres, pre- and post-surgery rooms, diagnostic center and renowned surgeons. 

The new medical facility that will be inaugurated on Saturday will focus on providing sustainable, high-quality surgical care to patients.

The center is connected to the American Medical Center, which currently does not offer surgical services. The first surgical specialty center of its kind in Ethiopia is established by four founders; Dr. Akeza Teame, Melat Abate, Afework Asgedom, and Frewoyni Alem with an investment capital of 148 million ETB. The opening of the center is expected to create more convenience and exceptional flow of services for patients at both institutions.

Explaining their intent in opening the center, co-founder Dr. Akeza Teame says, “My wife Melat, and I had formal and informal discussions with outpatients and their families regularly, which gave us a deeper understanding of the concern and anxiety most families have regarding the shortage of adequately staffed and equipped modern healthcare facilities. Additional information we learned from these heart-to-heart discussions was people’s willingness to pay for quality medical care. Right then, we made a commitment that we will continue to build better healthcare facilities that have international accreditation, one healthcare facility at a time, until such facilities are built in every major city of Ethiopia”.

Surgical services such as arthroscopic total hip replacement (insertion of artificial hip) and arthroscopic knee surgeries – which used to be done by foreigners from time to time as a result of a medical mission – will be procedures that will be done routinely at Samaritan Surgical Center from now on. The center also boasts the latest diagnostic software and CT scan machine, a centralized oxygen supply system, and an eight-bed intensive care unit which will help eliminate the need to transfer critically ill patients to other facilities.

One of the several services the center will be introducing to improve the provision of quality healthcare services in Ethiopia is called a “life-saving account”. Akeza says, “Anyone can deposit a minimum of 50,000 birr under their name in our hospital, and in times of emergency, no deposit will be required.   Funds from this account can be used to provide the needed emergency life-saving service(s) to the member, his/her family members or anyone whom he/she authorizes with a simple signed letter (which will be prepared by us), or simply by sending an SMS containing the member’s name, account number and balance. If a member is not satisfied with the service, they can collect their membership fee anytime.  As a result,, there is nothing to be lost by participating in this program”.

Samaritan Surgical Center has also established collaborative relationships with various government and public institutions so that best practices of the facility could be adapted by other healthcare facilities/schools.

In addition to the new facility, the center’s emergency room and intensive care units will be set up and properly assessed by U.S. board-certified critical care and emergency medicine specialists. The center will also provide telemedicine-based support where physicians will see patients without physically being present at the center.