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I am happy that, for the first time in the 30 year history of the Royal Hospital, our clinical departments have all got together to organize a multidisciplinary international conference, which will include several simultaneous sessions running in parallel at the same venue – the prestigious Oman Exhibition and Convention Centre. This combined effort will obviate the need for each specialty to host a conference or workshop during the year and is likely to prove more efficient in terms of logistic arrangements.It will avoid disruptions to patient care, which generally occurs when individual departments host conferences at different periods spread out over the year. A combined conference of this nature is also likely to be better planned so as to elicit good participation from various categories of professionals working in Oman, pharmaceutical firms and equipment suppliers, and other professional bodies. Being a flagship hospital of the Ministry of Health, the Royal Hospital has a responsibility to reach out to other government and private healthcare facilities in Oman to share its knowledge and initiatives, and this multidisciplinary conference, held at a single location in a well-defined period, will prove more convenient for delegates from all parts of the country.

I am also pleased that the main objective of this first Royal Hospital International Conference is to build a network of health professionals interested in promoting excellent health care and professional development, which are vital for improving the quality of service we offer our patients. It is commendable that this very first attempt has attracted a very good response and we expect a large number delegates from Oman, AGCC countries and other advanced countries, who would like to share knowledge and update themselves on the latest developments in Medicine, Surgery, Child Health, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Oncology, Genetics, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Hematology, Clinical Biochemistry, Histopathology and Microbiology.

It is also noteworthy that, besides the clinical focus, this conference will dwell on other topics important for promoting efficiency and effectiveness of care, such as: Clinical Leadership, Lean and Six Sigma in Healthcare, Clinical Innovation and Research, Teaching Skills and Simulation.

Being the apex referral centre in the country, the 873-bed tertiary-care Royal Hospital aims to remain at the forefront of medical care by pursuing five strategies: efficiency, quality and patient safety, patient experience, cost containment and governance. We have made significant progress on all these fronts. Clinical throughput has increased by more than 150 percent over the last decade. At the same time, by attaining Accreditation Canada International recognition and Laboratory ISO accreditation, major thrust has been laid on quality and safety of care. Application of Lean management, controlling costs of care and mobilizing financial support from firms and philanthropists are important for service delivery and for meeting patient expectations. Over the last three years we have done a lot with regard to culture transformation, leadership development, participative leadership style, departmental governance and improving patient engagement. We also hope to strengthen patient experience by providing better facilities and service for patients and attendants, taking them into confidence in improving the service, and working with patient advocacy groups.

I hope that this First Royal Hospital International Conference will stimulate our staff to conceive and implement new ideas that can help the Royal Hospital pursue the aforesaid five strategies in even greater measure. I look forward to a splendid conference and hope that the networking and scientific interactions will not fuel professional development but will also serve to further advance our mission of care and healing.

DR. QASEM BIN AHMED AL SALMI
Sr. Consultant Pediatric Pulmonologist, &
Director General, The Royal Hospital.

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