Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was in São Paulo, this past Friday, December 5, to inaugurate the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital's new Cardiology Center, which is supposed to promote integration between assistance, teaching and research in the cardiac area.
"Having, here in São Paulo, a hospital of the caliber of the Syrian-Lebanese, inaugurating a cardiology center, which may rank among the most modern in Brazil, one gets to thinking, my dear minister of Health and fellow countrymen, how many hospitals like this one need to be built in other Brazilian states so that we may, once and for all, be regarded as an example to the world in healthcare," said Lula, in an address at the hospital.
The implementation of the new center is part of an old dream of Professor Roberto Kalil Filho's, who is the director general at the Cardiology Center and the president's personal doctor.
"With this center, the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital forges ahead on its path to becoming the leading institution in Brazilian cardiology," said he, who was greatly praised by Lula. "Kalil is a unique character," stated the president. "Brazil will be hearing from you," he claimed.
Besides Kalil, the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in itself received much praise. "Caring and dedication is what makes the difference," said the minister of Health, José Gomes Temporão.
According to him, successful institutions are made of people, and the Syrian-Lebanese was a dream of pioneers that was fed by many professionals who have contributed to the creation of the new center at the institution.
"This is not a private hospital. It is part of the wealth that belongs to the Brazilian community," said the minister, who was greeted with applause by doctors and guests.
The minister also said that the hospital has been helping in the areas of professional training and relations with public healthcare institutions. "Brazil is the world's second leading country in donations of organs, and the Syrian-Lebanese is going to help us do more," said Temporão.
The mayor of the city of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, also praised the hospital's initiative. "The inauguration is in line with the wish that all Brazilians would have a hospital that sets the standard in terms of medical services," he asserted.
"May it continue to move forward more and more as a reference center in the country and worldwide," he said.
The governor of the state of São Paulo, José Serra, who also participated in the event, recalled, in his address, that the Syrian-Lebanese has pioneered in several activities, including robotic surgery, digital mammographies and fourth dimension radiotherapy, among others.
Serra also made a joke regarding the health of Mrs. Violeta Jafet, daughter of the founder of the Women's Beneficent Society, who is now 100 years old. "Here, we have the proof that the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital brings health. It is Mrs. Violeta Jafet."
Serra, together with Lula, Temporão and Kalil uncovered the board of the Cardiology Center. Apart from them, the ceremony also included the presence of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade minister Miguel Jorge, of Chief of Staff Dilma Roussef, of the vice president of the Republic, José Alencar, of the president of the Lower House, Arlindo Chinaglia, of the president of the Beneficent Society of Ladies of the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital, Ivete Riskallah, and of first lady Marisa Letícia Lula da Silva.
In the audience were the Foreign Trade vice president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Salim Shahin, the consul general of Syria, Gazi Dib, the consul general of Lebanon, Joseph Sayahd, senator Romeu Tuma and state representative Paulo Maluf, among others.
The establishment of the Cardiology Center represents an evolution in infrastructure of the Cardiology Nucleus at the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital, established in 2006, with the objective of providing global services to cardiac patients, as well as promoting development and knowledge research on new techniques for prevention and treatment of cardiac health.
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in the world and in Brazil, according to figures supplied by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organizations (WHO).
According to Kalil, the center'sÂ goal is to become an international reference in cardiac health and a model of social transformation in Brazil.