The pediatric cardiac unit was established at Makassed Hospital in 2003, yet it was not until the beginning of 2013 that a Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department was opened with a capacity of 10 fully-equipped beds and an operating theatre to perform pediatric open-heart surgeries. This department has had a significant impact on Palestinian society since it provides the main center and the primary reference for pediatric cardiac surgery cases in need of special attention and which are being sent from places all over Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The department provides the following services:
- Treatment of congenital heart defects in babies and children.
- Pediatric cardiac surgery due to diseases or congenital malformations.
- Medical and intensive care for pediatric heart patients.
- Cardiac diagnostic and therapeutic intervention for pediatric patients.
- Outpatient clinics.
- Fetal echocardiograms.
During the first year of its creation in 2013, 180 pediatric cardiac surgeries were performed at the pediatric cardiac surgery department, among them 90 referral cases from the Gaza Strip. The department works on cases which were in the past usually referred to Israeli hospitals and which cost the Palestinian Ministry of Health 3-4 times more than it cost at Makassed Hospital.
The department is characterized by the presence of a highly efficient medical staff of doctors and nurses, along with a very high level of development in its equipment and techniques, in addition to the performance of complex operations with high success rates putting it in the same league as many Israeli hospitals and medical centres, and even making it comparable to a number of regional and worldwide centres.
The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Department is headed by Dr. Nizar Hijjeh who is a pediatric cardiac surgery specialist recruited from Germany by Makassed Hospital in 2013. He is assisted by a highly competent and experienced Palestinian medical staff in order for the Hospital to be able to provide the best in medical care and service to its patients. In the past three years Dr. Hijjeh and his team have witnessed many successful accomplishments and triumphs.