Dr. Alattas proves instrumental in changing Kingdom’s stereotypical image


Saudi Gazette report

Dr. Khadijah Alattas, a young Saudi consultant ophthalmic surgeon, narrates how she was successful in convincing a Briton to continue his treatment in Saudi Arabia for an acute diabetic eye disease instead of traveling to the United Kingdom during the pandemic period.

“I took the case of uncle David, a British expatriate, as a national challenge when I decided to help him change the stereotypical image that Saudi doctors are not distinguished. This was with a firm conviction and confidence in the high professional competence of Saudi doctors to win any challenges and are able to compete with doctors of advanced countries,” Dr. Alattas, who is also assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University, said while attending the Yahala show at Rotana Khalijia on Saturday.

David used to travel every month to London to take his intravitreal injection from his British doctor. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Alattas said, he was unable to travel to Britain to undergo the procedure on time and his condition worsened.

“So he visited me in my clinic during the first month of the pandemic, asking me to carry out some tests so as to send the results to his doctor in London for further consultation. Though I did what he had asked for, I had noticed him quite worried in undergoing his treatment in the Kingdom.”

“I tried to convince him that he could get the best possible treatment in our hospitals as all kinds of syringes for eye diabetes are in place here. I also reassured him that our doctors are competent and experienced.”

Dr. Alattas said that finally, despite worries, he agreed, stating that he will just take that dose here and complete the rest of his treatment in London. After doing the procedure, she told him that it was finished but he did not believe it, saying: ‘you are joking.’

When he realized what she had said was true, he jumped for joy, saying: “Doctor this is the first time that I did not feel pain while doing the procedure.” After a month she found him in her clinic to receive the second dose. He remarked then: “Doctor, I am proud of you as well as of Saudi Arabia and the medical health system here.”

Dr. Alattas quoted him as saying that it was for the first time he did not feel pain during the procedure. After this, he continued to do the procedure at her clinic and even in the case of returning to Britain, he preferred to carry out the procedure in the Kingdom.

“We were able to show him that there are highly qualified and competent Saudi medical professionals who can compete with doctors of his country,” she said, adding, that Saudi doctors are making available this sort of treatment for scores of patients on a daily basis.