European Union of Private Hospitals

EPHA Awards 2023 – Best Health News Coverage category

CUF Tejo Hospital – Lisbon, was one of the three finalists for the European Private Hospital Awards 2023, in the Best Health News Coverage category, with its TV report on surgical treatment of obesity using robotic technology

What makes your project so special?

Obesity is a disease that affects the world’s population on a large scale. Therefore, it’s important to demonstrate to the public, essentially those who suffer from this pathology, that there are safe interventions that guarantee significant improvements in the quality of life of people with this disease.

Through TV reports, this communication is assertive, with the opportunity to share relevant messages through the voice of patients and health professionals. At the same time, it’s possible to share one of CUF’s commitments: promote a preventive health attitude among the population and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

Promoting media reports of this kind, which promote health literacy, is what motivates us to work on health communication.

What does this award mean to you and your teams?

This award recognizes the work of CUF’s communication team, which promotes hundreds of reports in the media every year, with a clinical content, always with the same purpose: to inform the population and help to demystify issues of certain pathologies. Therefore, we are very pleased with this distinction.

The project

CUF submitted a proposal to TVI, a television channel with a large audience, to produce a report on the surgical treatment of obesity using robotic technology, combining three testimonials – from two patients and a general surgeon.

The report was broadcast on 21st of May 2022, the day that celebrates the “National Day for the Fight against Obesity” in Portugal.

In Portugal, obesity as a disease affects 2.5 million people and for many patients, surgery is the only option. Thus, we resorted to the testimony of two patients, who agreed to participate as a way to convey guarantees of success to those who suffer from this pathology. Promoting a report that shares the example of two patients, one about to undergo surgery and who shares his daily challenges and the other who admits having changed his life after the treatment has been carried out, represents not only an incentive to change habits but also shows how transformative the use of surgery can be, with increasing guarantees of success.

The technological component associated with robot-assisted surgery also reveals how reduced the risk associated with this procedure is today, which is less invasive and in which patients experience a faster recovery time from surgery, less postoperative pain and discomfort, reduced risk of skin infection, and minimal scarring.

For the development of this TV report, we counted with the participation of one of the most renowned doctors in this area of intervention. Carlos Vaz, general surgeon, Coordinator of the Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Unit of the CUF Tejo Hospital and the CUF Robotic Surgery Unit, leads one of the most internationally recognised and experienced surgical teams and is the most sought-after European training centre in robotic bariatric surgery. The participation, in this report, of a surgeon with wide experience and differentiation in this area, transmits even more trust to the population, by revealing that the development of minimally invasive surgery, and particularly robotic surgery, has increased, in a very expressive way, the safety of surgical interventions in the treatment of obesity.

Targets achieved

The opportunity for the TV channel team to accompany a surgery with this level of technology also intends to translate into images – for better visualisation of the result – that surgery, as stated by the WHO, “is the most effective method to reduce weight and maintain the reduction in patients with severe or morbid obesity”.

This report intended, firstly, to impact the entire Portuguese population, more than 10 million inhabitants, so that they can act preventively in the management of their health and, in this way, alert them to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. Secondly, to reach the more than 2.5 million Portuguese who suffer from this pathology and who, through this surgical intervention, can recover a healthy life and, simultaneously, reduce the incidence of associated diseases.

Watch the TV report

For additional information, https://www.cuf.pt/en