Summit to discuss future of healthcare Gulf
Dubai, February 29, 2012
The challenges and opportunities facing healthcare systems in the Gulf region will be discussed at the Economist Conferences “Healthcare in the Gulf” Summit in March.
The summit, on March 28 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, has been designed to facilitate high-level dialogue between key stakeholder groups: government, healthcare providers, suppliers, patient groups, donors and NGOs.
Topics for the discussion include: future and ongoing reforms; potential models; different approaches to healthcare privatisation and public-private partnerships; and tackling obesity and associated diseases, said a statement.
“Given the increase in demand for healthcare, the growing incidence of lifestyle diseases, and the rising costs to the economy associated with this, the Economist conference provides a platform for the leadership and policy makers from governments in the GCC to engage in a meaningful discussion with health analysts, healthcare providers, suppliers of healthcare equipment and pharmaceuticals, and investors in healthcare in the Gulf on the best practices, challenges and innovative ideas for sustainable reform of the health sector,” said Lailia Al Jassmi, CEO of Dubai Health Authority.
Over the past decade the Gulf region has seen a significant improvement in healthcare delivery, leading to higher access, broadening the medical services offered and increasing the focus on quality. While patients have benefited from these developments, the Gulf states will have to focus on ensuring that healthcare systems stay sustainable and face challenges such as the increase of chronic diseases.
“Governments must take responsibility and lead on the issues of healthcare, but that said, they cannot shoulder the burden alone. All the relevant stakeholders – including civil society, the private sector, and academia – must recognize that investing in healthcare now is necessary to ensure the future health of our populations. This is why I am really looking forward to this conference and the ideas and discussions that it will generate,” says Princess Dina Mired, director general of King Hussein Cancer Foundation.
Delia Meth-Cohn, editorial director Cemea, The Economist Group and conference chairperson, added: "Driven by the explosion of chronic disease, the demand for higher quality and spiraling costs, the Gulf states are introducing quite radical market-based healthcare reforms, but if these measures are to improve healthcare delivery while keeping costs down, there needs to be a lot more dialogue between the policy-makers, regulators and public health providers on the one side and the private healthcare players on the other. Healthcare in the Gulf is designed as a forum for that dialogue."
Confirmed speakers include: Lailia Al Jassmi, CEO of Dubai Health Authority; Michael Bitzer, CEO, National Health Insurance Company – Daman; George Cheriyan, CEO and CMO, The American Mission Hospital; Zaid Al Siksek, CEO, Health Authority Abu Dhabi.
The summit will bring together 180 senior executives from around the region. - Reuters