By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Aspetar, the region’s first specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, will help other healthcare facilities in the country to set up the Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) discipline, an official told Gulf Times.
EIM is a new discipline within medicine where exercise is prescribed as medicine, based on the principle of FITT - frequency, intensity, type and time.
“At present, we are not fully equipped to meet a large number of people. Therefore we are working on with some other organisations to provide the EIM facilities at their premises. Any centre or any physician can practise EIM,” Dr Husam Rezeq, public health specialist, Aspetar, explained during an interview.
“Aspetar is working with the Primary Health Care Corporation as they are developing new models. We will teach them how to make use of the discipline and they can provide the EIM services at facilities such as the Labaiab Health and Wellness Centre. We will help private sector facilities design the programme in their facilities, if they want.”
“Now Aspetar is accepting only patients who are already availing its services or those referred by the sports medicine, surgery department or rehabilitation at Aspetar. We also accept certain other cases but are very selective as we are not fully equipped and prepared to cater to a large number of people,” he said.
The ultimate vision of Aspetar is that any medical centre or any physician can practise EIM. “It needs some requirements and we are working with other healthcare organisations in the country who can provide these facilities.”
Aspetar has three clinics which are open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. A total of 18 patients are seen daily, nine each in the morning and evening. They are classified into three categories of low, medium and high risk.
“Low-risk patients can immediately start the exercises while the medium-risk people can start under medical supervision. But the high-risk patients will be admitted to the exercise classes only after their diseases are brought under control through medications.”
Dr Rezeq observed that Aspetar’s role is not limited to helping the patients alone. “We need to help the physicians as well. Many physicians do not have much idea about the type of exercise to prescribe or the intensity of them. We also help other care providers to prescribe suitable exercises.”
The official highlighted that Aspetar runs frequent training programmes for the physicians from Qatar and the other GCC countries.
“We will conduct one in March and we also have request from other GCC countries for training sessions. We have announced online about the training programmes, which are open to private sector too. Anyone can apply and the workshop is limited for 20 people as it is an interactive programme,” he concluded.
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