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Minister of Public Health opens ‘Easy Street’ Patient Rehabilitation Facility

  • Feb 27, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 17707
  • Health/Medicine
Tribune News Network
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has expanded its specialized rehabilitation services with a modern simulated environment located within the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI). The Minister of Public Health, Her Excellency Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, opened the ‘Easy Street’ patient rehabilitation facility and met with some of the patients who have benefited from the service.
The Easy Street simulates real-world situations in a safe clinical environment for patients to take their first independent steps towards recovery following protracted illness with life-changing medical issues. 
HE Dr. Al Kuwari commended the team for their efforts to establish this facility despite the year-long challenges faced by so many healthcare systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This remarkable facility represents an exceptional addition to the growing rehabilitation capabilities in Qatar and will provide a huge boost for all patients who need targeted therapy to enable them to be reintegrated back into their community.”
“Easy Street is the first of its kind in Qatar and one of only a few such simulated environments in the region. I am extremely pleased to see how well it has turned out and recognize the immense effort of the QRI team who have brought this idea to fruition during the pandemic. This is a true testimony of the ‘can do’ attitude we have in Qatar, which demonstrates that we can achieve almost anything we set out minds to,” the Minister added.
The facility was designed for patients recovering from stroke or brain hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic surgeries or other medical issues that have impacted their ability to live at home and conduct basic life tasks.
Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad, Qatar National Lead for Healthy Ageing and Medical Director at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute explained the journey taken to establish this facility. “QRI first opened at the end of 2017 and since then the goal has been to expand rehabilitation services and facilities that will really benefit our patients. In the last years we have opened additional services, such as assistive technology services, adult day rehabilitation services, and  specialized rehabilitative gymnasium. All services and programs here have been developed in line with international best practice to enable the best outcomes for rehabilitation patients.”
“We had planned to open Easy Street last year, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had to deploy our resources to where they were needed most. However, the team continued to work on this project whenever time permitted and with the combined support from all staff, the Ministry and our partners who donated many of the items to aid simulation of normal tasks, we are able to establish this amazing facility,” said Dr. Al Hamad.
The Easy Street enables patients to simulate going to a supermarket and handling a small shopping basket as well as utilizing ramps. An ATM facade enables the simulation of extracting cash from a machine. There is a small coffee shop setting that is opened during patient practice sessions and patients are offered a complimentary cup of coffee or tea to see how they can navigate the challenges of handling a hot beverage while still experiencing mobility issues. 
Sultan Al Abdulla, Chief of Occupational therapy services for HMC, explained the exceptional design concept of Easy Street. “We have patients who are learning to master the use of devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or canes; and in order for them to feel confident to manage being reintegrated into life in the community, they often need to relearn and practice simple daily tasks, such as buying a coffee or groceries. Once a patient has been assessed and deemed ready to use facilities such as Easy Street, they will be accompanied by a trained Physical or Occupational Therapist to guide them in how to make certain movements safely.”