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Opened the first private Paediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Unit of Andalusia

• The team of surgeons will care for children from all over southern Spain and North Africa

18 Jan 2019

The project of Paediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Unit led by the Vithas Nisa Sevilla Hospital, was brought to light in May through the initiative of three organisations, all leaders in their respective fields in Andalusia, Neolaser Cardiovascular, the Hispalense Institute of Paediatrics and the Vithas health group, which has 19 hospitals and 29 medical centres in Spain.

With the launch of this unit “we intend to bridge the gap that existed until now when it comes to medical care of paediatric patients with heart disease. We are the first and only private Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Unit in our region, and our facilities also include the Departments of Cardiology and Paediatric Hemodynamics, as well as an Intensive Care Unit, fully equipped and with highly qualified and expert staff”, according to Dr Antonio Gonzalez, the paediatric cardiovascular surgeon responsible for this Unit. 

Paediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Unit

The keys to developing the Paediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Unit lay in a group of highly qualified and experienced specialists dedicated to paediatric cardiac surgery, a consolidated team who has been successfully working together for some years. The unit also boasts a high-level Intensive Care Unit with specialists in the field of paediatric intensive medicine, and fully equipped state-of-the-art departments of Paediatric Cardiology and Hemodynamics with professionals with extensive experience in paediatric cardiac pathologies.

The team, led by Dr. Antonio Gonzalez, also includes Dr. Javier Mata, anaesthesiologist, Carlos Fernandez, instrumental nurse, and Diego Solis, perfusionist. The team performs about 150 paediatric cardiovascular surgery interventions each year at the Virgen del Rocio Children's Hospital.

"Our surgical team is as important as the paediatric ICU since without the same it would be impossible to implement such project", according to Dr Juan Antonio Soult, Head of the Paediatric ICU at the Vithas Nisa Sevilla Hospital.

Paediatric cardiology in Andalusia

In Andalusia, three public hospitals treat children with congenital heart defects: Virgen del Rocio Hospital in Seville, Reina Sofia Hospital in Cordoba and Carlos Haya Hospital in Malaga. The Virgen del Rocio Children's Hospital has the highest volume and level of complexity in treating paediatric pathologies. On the other hand, the Reina Sofia Hospital has the only Paediatric Heart Transplant Unit in Andalusia.

However, at the level of private medicine, “there is an important and historical gap in this field, with the patients requiring this type of interventions being obliged to move to other provinces or to be treated in public hospitals if their insurance policy covers such treatments”.

According to data provided by paediatrician organisations and insurance companies, around 20 - 30 children in Andalusia could benefit from this service annually.

Prevalence of congenital heart disease is estimated to affect 8 out of 1,000 newborns. Heart malformations are the most frequent type of deformities in the newborn.

The Vithas Promise: high quality accredited healthcare, personal service and long term commitment

Vithas is the first healthcare operator with 100 por ciento Spanish capital. Its strategic commitment is defined by supporting the healthcare with the standards of quality accreditation of the highest international prestige, the Joint Commission International. Only 14 prestigious hospitals in Spain have such accreditation and recognition, and two of them are part of Vithas, in Madrid and Malaga. Each year Vithas cares for more than 5.000.000 patients in its 19 hospitals and 29 medical centres called Vithas Salud. The 48 centres are distributed throughout the country and include hospitals in Alicante, Almeria, Benalmadena, Castellon, Granada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Malaga, Sevilla, Tenerife, Vigo, Valencia and Vitoria- Gasteiz. The 29 Vithas Salud centres are located in Alicante, Almuñecar, Elche, El Ejido, Fuengirola, Granada, La Estrada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Malaga, Marin, Nerja, Pontevedra, Rincon de la Victoria, Sanxenxo, Sevilla, Torre del Mar, Torremolinos, Vilagarcia, and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Vithas also counts upon more than 300 extraction points spread throughout Spain thanks to its network of Vithas Lab laboratories. Its own central purchasing office, PlazaSalud24, as a leader in the sector, provides service to 39 hospitals, 35 medical centres and 20 dental clinics.

Vithas has a strategic agreement with a hospital leader in the Balearic Islands, the Juaneda Healthcare Network, which has 5 hospitals and a wide network of medical centres throughout the region.

Vithas' commitment to accredited quality healthcare and personalised service goes hand in hand with the firm support and long-term vision of Vithas' shareholders: Goodgrower, who control 80 por ciento of the capital, and the' La Caixa' group, with the remaining 20 por ciento. With a growth model based on geographical diversification and sustainability, Vithas plans to continue consolidating its national presence both by opening new centres and through acquisitions and strategic agreements.