Moussa Srour, Vice President, Medtronic for Middle East and North Africa
This is a pivotal time for healthcare in the MENA region. Governments across the region are facing pressures that impact economies and invariably national healthcare ecosystems. In the past year, leaders in the region have faced oil price fluctuations, which impacted government revenues, budgets and consequently healthcare development plans; geo political challenges too are altering government spending priorities, with various large-scale infrastructure healthcare projects being delayed or stalled awaiting less turbulent times. In addition to the economic and geo-political pressures, healthcare systems are increasingly pressured by an ageing population, increase in chronic diseases, poor lifestyle habits and raising healthcare costs. Challenging times call for bold and disruptive measures to enable a sustainable value-based healthcare system that focuses on patient outcomes.
Despite the challenges, various efforts are being made in the region to increase the level and coverage of healthcare. We believe the MENA region is prepared to adapt to deliver improved and more sustainable healthcare, by shifting the focus from volume, to value-based health. How then, can governments in the region and the private sector redesign care in a rapidly shifting environment?
Answer – gradually restructuring healthcare in the region by focusing on improved clinical outcomes and lower overall costs. The trend towards “value” in healthcare has rapidly gained momentum in the US and in Europe over the past years. For healthcare in the Middle East, redefining healthcare to focus on value is vital given the current pressures to healthcare systems across the region.
Value-based healthcare is an effort to develop and deploy products, services and integrated solutions that improve patient outcomes per dollar spent in the healthcare system by improving the quality of care and/or reducing the associated expense. Most importantly, the value derived from the quality of care isn’t determined at a specific point in time that focuses on transactional value. Instead, value is measured holistically over a longer time period and in ways that are meaningful to the patient.
What can the private sector do to add value to the healthcare system in the MENA region?
1. Meaningful innovation: Industry players should support the value shift by introducing meaningful innovation that offers less recovery time, less complications rates – which enable the healthcare providers to treat more patients – providing more value for patients.
2. Collaboration in the industry is essential to increase awareness of diseases, enhance focus on prevention and early detection
3. Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the region will be vital to increase healthcare access to previously underserved areas, improve quality of healthcare services and encourage innovation to serve more patients and increase value
Current pressures to healthcare systems present a transformational opportunity to systematically address economic value needs for stakeholders. In a dynamic healthcare environment, where payment models and customers are evolving, we believe that successfully addressing the growing importance of economic considerations, while still delivering clinical benefits, will prepare firms to create value for healthcare systems in the region.