As in most resource-constrained developing countries, efforts to improve health conditions in Ethiopia continues to be hampered by insufficient financing of the healthcare sector, poor health infrastructure and facilities, chronic shortages of basic medical supplies and a severe scarcity of trained health professionals. Shockingly, with a population fast approaching 80 million, there are less than 2,000 physicians currently working directly with patients throughout the entire nation.
Ethiopia clearly faces enormous challenges in meeting the healthcare needs of its people. Despite recent increased government and international investments in the country’s health sector, Ethiopia’s health indicators remain among the poorest in the African region. Widespread malnutrition and largely preventable infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, continue to contribute to the country’s poor life expectancy rates as low as 50 years for a child born today. Infant and maternal mortality rates remain high; in 2004 child mortality stood at 166 per 1,000 live births and maternal deaths at 850 per 100,000 live births (WHO, 2006). While daunting, these challenges are not insurmountable. But overcoming them will require committed efforts and a radical shift away from the country’s historic approaches to healthcare delivery.
New strategies, new partnerships and innovative ways of mobilizing additional resources are needed to build a health system that is capable of reaching a large majority of the country’s poor and underserved communities. This requires policies and strategies which fully recognize and support the contributions of all stakeholders, including most importantly the crucial role that can be played by the country’s nascent private healthcare sector. Recognizing the potential of the growing private healthcare sector in improving healthcare delivery in low and middle-income countries, international policymakers are increasingly recommending ways to support and enhance the quality of medical services offered by private providers. Private healthcare providers can complement government efforts by mobilizing additional resources and broadening access to affordable quality medical care through innovative approaches and partnerships.
It is with such a vision and a firm belief in the significant potential of the private sector to help improve healthcare delivery in Ethiopia that we, the founders of Saint Yared Higher Clinic and the Saint Yared General Hospital, set out to do our part by establishing modern healthcare facilities in Addis Ababa. We envisaged creating a prototype of a self-sustaining healthcare facility capable of attracting and retaining well-trained health professionals through providing high quality medical care in a range of specialty areas. This was the genesis of the Saint Yared Higher Clinic -- a modern comprehensive multi-specialty healthcare facility which was opened in Addis Ababa in February 2006. Despite its modest 14-bed capacity, Saint Yared Higher Clinic had come to exemplify the type of high quality privately owned medical care that is feasible in Ethiopia. Using the resources and experience gained at the clinic, we made a major strike and decided to open a modern multi specialty hospital. As part of our expansion plan, we acquired, through a lease with option to buy arrangement, an existing 8-story hospital building (the former MMD Hospital) in a fast growing Addis Ababa suburb in order to broaden the quality as well as the type of services we are currently providing. The building was refurnished and modernized and opened for business on December 10, 2008 as the 80-bed Saint Yared General Hospital. Today, Saint Yared General Hospital boasts a diverse staff of well-trained medical personnel, comprehensive in/out-patient care and facilitates which give patients access to a wide range of highly specialized medical services through various collaborative arrangements with highly reputable medical centers around the world.
St. Yard General Hospital will strive with excellence addresses patient’s needs and consistently endeavors to meet the needs of community, and to be center of excellence not only for Ethiopia, but also for the East African region.
We at St. Yard General Hospital constantly strive for quality and innovation to leading health care facility with most advanced technological and personnel capacity and center for training medical technicians to raise the standards in medical care.
We envision this hospital system to be defined by reputation for consistently and aggressively applying its resources in providing high caliber and economically affordable healthcare services.
To facilitate exchange privileges in expertise and information. The hospital will develop unique capability in telemedicine.
As a result, our hospital will be recognized in Ethiopia as a hospital that earnestly addresses patients’ needs and consistently endeavors to meet those needs regardless of financial constraints.
- Internal Medicine
- General Surgery
- Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery
- Infectious Diseases (ID)
- Stroke Unit
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- Respiratory therapy including modern ventilators (respiratory)
- HIV Testing, Counseling, and Treatment
- Inpatient services in all specialties (Executive rooms also available)
- Modern Family Planning Service
- Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
- Referral Services to Apollo Hospital in India
- Dialysis Center
- Telemedicine (in active progress)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- X-ray with fluoroscopy capacity
- Vascular Doppler ultrasound
Expanding access to high quality specialized care through innovative partnerships
Partnerships with US Medical Schools and HospitalsThe Albert Einstein College of Medicine located in the Bronx, New York, selected Saint Yared General Hospital as the official practical training site for its third year medical residents. Under this arrangement, physicians from the College spend one month working at Saint Yared General Hospital in order to fulfill their international health electives at the end of their residency training. In addition to providing medical care to patients alongside the Saint Yared staff, these physicians have also been running a ‘Journal Club’ which holds regular discussions of journal articles from the medical literature. This has created valuable opportunities for our staff and other local physicians to keep abreast of advances in the medical field. In turn, this contributes to the quality of care being provided at the hospital.
Physicians and departments from other leading academic institutions and medical centers in the United States such as, Mount Sinai Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center are also contributing to the work of our hospitals in various capacities.
Partnership with the Apollo Hospitals System, IndiaOur Hospital has also established a formal collaborative relationship with Apollo Hospitals System, the largest healthcare establishment in Asia. Based in India, the Apollo Hospitals System has earned international recognition and accreditation for its advanced medical care services based on cutting-edge technologies. After conducting appropriate work-up and diagnosis, if the Saint Yared General Hospital medical staff determines that a patient requires medical services beyond what is currently available in Ethiopia, we can refer the patient to Apollo Hospitals for highly specialized care. Saint Yared can also facilitate patients’ visa requirements to enter India. Among the many patients who have thus far benefited from this arrangement, are two patients who had successful kidney transplants. In addition to this arrangement, we also have an agreement through which various specialists from Apollo Hospitals come periodically to Ethiopia to provide specialized services at Saint Yared. We are pursuing other collaborative initiatives with Apollo Hospitals, including a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program and telemedicine services.
Given the high standards and geographic proximity of Apollo Hospitals, partnering with this leading medical institution has enabled Saint Yared to provide access to high quality specialized medical care to Ethiopian patients who would otherwise simply not have been able to receive or afford such care elsewhere. For example, the successful kidney transplant for one of our recent patients had done through Apollo Hospitals cost less than US $15,000 – a fraction of what the procedure would have cost in the United States or Europe.
Collaboration with Mayo Clinic
Our Hospital has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona to collaborate on a range of activities. Mayo Clinic is one of the largest healthcare establishments in the U.S and employs over 4,000 physicians. The CEO of Mayo Clinic was one of the presenters at the first Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference we helped organize in Ethiopia in 2008. In addition to his participation in the Conference, he made a decision to contribute to the development of improved healthcare services in Ethiopia. We have agreed to collaborate in five major areas; namely, medical research, medical education, patient education, telemedicine and sports medicine.