Snoring Disorders Centre founder, Consultant ENT surgeon Michael Oko, will address senior healthcare executives from across the Middle East in Abu Dhabi next week.
At the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011) Mr Oko will be speaking about the benefits of preventative treatment in delivering cost savings, using the example of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) testing and treatment in Lincolnshire UK.
It is suspected that about 20% of car accidents are sleep related and research has shown that sleepiness can impair driving more than drink! Indeed, patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea have a 7-12 fold chance of a road traffic accident (RTA) compared to those who do not, and results in Lincolnshire have shown that treating the condition can reduce the accident rate dramatically.
In an interview to be published in Middle East Hospital magazine this month Mr Oko said,
“Fatal road accidents in Lincolnshire used to average about 79 per year. By December 2010, the number of fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. A significant contributory factor in this success is that since 2006 the Snoring Disorders Centre has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel. As well as the lives that have been saved by this initiative, this reduction in accidents also represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS.”
Mr Oko is bringing this message to the Middle East in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of not addressing the rising incidence of OSA across the region,
“With the low level of awareness of sleep apnoea in the Middle East it’s no surprise that road accident rates in the Gulf region are dreadful. In fact road traffic accidents are the second major cause of death in the UAE and there are 3500 fatalities per year from RTAs in Saudi Arabia alone. I believe that the success I have had in Lincolnshire can be replicated in the Middle East by raising awareness of the condition, and forming long-term partnerships with local hospitals, doctors, and government departments.”
Mr Oko has already been very active in bringing this message to the healthcare community in the Middle East throughout 2011. For his work in this area Mr Oko was awarded the Middle East Hospital magazine award for excellence in respiratory care.
In January 2012 Mr Oko is opening a new private clinic at 150 Harley Street in London, to increase treatment capacity in the London area, and to cater for overseas patients. He also plans to open further satellite clinics throughout the UK.
Notes to editors:
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Launched in 2010, the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011, Abu Dhabi), is the premier conference to feature global health care innovation. It attracts more than 600 senior health care thought leaders from all industry sectors, including hospitals, health systems, employers, government agencies, pharma, biotech and industry suppliers. WHCC Middle East is organized with sovereign partners the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Additional sponsorship is currently provided by The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) www.seha.ae and Children’s National Medical Center www.childrensnational.org