Cleveland Clinic training providers in Saudi Arabia

Cleveland Clinic has signed an affiliation agreement with professional managed healthcare company Healthcare Development Holding Co. to provide medical education and training to healthcare providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to a news release.

Through its affiliate office, Cleveland Clinic physicians in the United States will offer second opinions, as well as handle appointment requests for Saudi Arabian patients. It also will coordinate educational lectures and symposiums for healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia to share best practices to treat prevalent medical conditions. 

"It's not a clinical office where patients will be seen," Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil wrote in an email to MedCity News. "[The] primary purpose is medical education and training programs, e-second opinions, consulting as their healthcare system grows and patient support to Cleveland when requested."

The Clinic opened the new office in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Sunday with three Clinic workers on staff, according to Sheil.

"We are very pleased to build upon Cleveland Clinic's longstanding relationships with leaders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to share medical knowledge and enhance care to patients in the country," Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove said in a statement. "Sharing medical best practices and furthering the Cleveland Clinic's mission across borders benefits patients worldwide."

To enhance its international presence in the Middle East, the Clinic plans to open a 360-bed multispecialty hospital in Abu Dhabi later this year, noted MedCity News.

International training programs could help the United States ease its own healthcare workforce issues, as American Medical News found that foreign-trained healthcare professionals may be a solution to the looming physician shortage.

To learn more:
- read the news release
- here's the MedCity News article