Healthcare is a basic human right. However, not all have access to it either due to the expensive nature or lack of wider reach of healthcare facilities. And the COVID-19 pandemic has proved it worldwide. The global pandemic highlighted the need for comprehensive affordable quality healthcare. While many healthcare organizations stepped up to extend healthcare during the pandemic, several institutes have been working to make healthcare more accessible and affordable.
Mediclinic Middle East is one such healthcare group that has been on a mission to improve lives through state-of-art facilities and quality healthcare. With the group’s seven hospitals and 20 clinics in operations, Mediclinic Middle East has extended quality and comprehensive healthcare across the United Arab Emirates. And now David Hadley, CEO of Mediclinic is taking this mission forward by aiming to work with the UAE government.
Read the following interview where David shares the genesis of Mediclinic Middle East, how the group has managed its operations throughout the pandemic, and its plans to expand the reach and enhance patients’ lives on a wider level.
Please brief our audience about Mediclinic Middle East, its mission, and the key aspects of its stronghold within the healthcare services niche.
Mediclinic Middle East is part of Mediclinic International plc, a London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed private healthcare group with three operating divisions in Switzerland, Southern Africa (South Africa and Namibia), and the United Arab Emirates. Mediclinic International also holds a 29.9% interest in Spire Healthcare Group plc, an LSE-listed and UK-based private healthcare group.
The foundation of Mediclinic lies in the application of rigorous science to improve the lives of patients, through the use of state-of-the-art treatments and technologies to care for patients in an evidence-based environment. The company’s purpose is to enhance the quality of life with the vision of being the partner of choice that people trust for all their healthcare needs.
Mediclinic Middle East operates seven hospitals and 20 clinics with over 900 inpatient beds in the United Arab Emirates.
Tell us more about the offerings that give your company a distinct edge to stand out from the competition?
Mediclinic is focused on providing specialist-orientated, multi-disciplinary services across the continuum of care in such a way that it will be regarded as the most respected and trusted provider of healthcare services by patients, medical practitioners, funders, and regulators of healthcare in each of its markets.
In the UAE, Mediclinic practices ethical, evidence-based healthcare of the highest quality and continues to invest in the latest technology in areas such as radiotherapy and robotic surgery for the benefit of its patients.
What is your opinion on the effects of the current pandemic on the healthcare sector, and what challenges did the company face during the initial phase of the pandemic?
The UAE’s healthcare sector, under the UAE’s extremely capable leadership, has weathered the Covid-19 pandemic extremely well. Although Mediclinic, as with all healthcare organizations over the past year, has faced significant challenges from large numbers of Covid patients at its facilities, the stoppages in elective surgical procedures, and patient willingness to visit healthcare establishments, the company adapted quickly, introducing new modes of remote care and rebuilding patient confidence by creating extremely secure treatment pathways at its units.
Mediclinic has also been unwavering in its support and collaboration with the relevant health authorities in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and this level of continued cooperation between the public and private sector is one of the most positive things to come from the pandemic.
Across the world, major advances have been made in the development, manufacture, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The government-led vaccination program in the UAE is well underway and Mediclinic Middle East’s facilities in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai are part of the national vaccination network.
With continuous development in technologies such as AI and big data, what is your prediction about the future of the healthcare services market?
AI and Big Data are going to impact not only existing and traditional healthcare processes and systems (Diagnostics, appointments billing, digitalization of the care systems, logistics, etc.) but will create opportunities for new healthcare delivery systems to become available too. Medicine will become more personalized and the accuracy of the information for doctors to prepare a care plan will become invaluable due to these initiatives.
As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the healthcare services niche?
Focus on the new-age healthcare services that have a lower upfront capital requirement (that require years to make a return on). Think preventative care and enhancement of care.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2021?
Our efforts to expand the business across the continuum of care continue apace and I am happy that we will soon be launching our precision medicine service. In addition, we are looking closely at the homecare market and I foresee some new developments in that area soon.
Digitalization is a key area of focus for Mediclinic, and I am pleased to report that we have just completed the rollout for the Customer Relationship Management system in all our hospitals, enabling inquiries and complaints from patients to be routed, tracked, and escalated automatically to the right business owners, improving consistency inpatient experience, and providing transparency in response turnaround time.
We have also already seen the rollout of our online appointment booking system and telemedicine services, and our new patient portal, which will allow patients to access all their health records and test results, is going live imminently. These will be enhanced towards the end of 2021 with the piloting of a digital platform that will bring all these functionalities together under one umbrella bringing us even closer to the patient and making Mediclinic Middle East one of the most digitally advanced healthcare providers in the UAE.
In other key developments, we look forward to the opening of Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital’s new extension and Comprehensive Cancer Centre, further progress on Mediclinic Al Murjan Hospital in Saudi Arabia, the opening of our new dialysis center in Al Barsha as part of an agreement with the Dubai Health Authority, and the launch of our new Cosmetics standalone service and clinic in Dubai Mall.
Provide us details regarding the awards and recognition that your company has achieved thus far since its inception.
Mediclinic focuses on clinical excellence and works towards accreditation from internationally recognized partners as an assurance of the quality of its excellence. All its hospitals and outpatient clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International, and for the first time in 2020, we received JCI accreditation for an individual clinical care program (Diabetes at Mediclinic Welcare Hospital). Eight out of nine Mediclinic Middle East laboratories operating within Mediclinic hospital and clinic facilities are ISO 15189:2012 accredited, and the ninth at Mediclinic Parkview is currently undergoing accreditation, with the laboratory at Mediclinic City Hospital also accredited by the College of American Pathologists.
Mediclinic also has centers of excellence, accredited by the relevant governing bodies in Obesity Management at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital and Bariatrics at Mediclinic Airport Road Hospital. Several other centers of excellence are also in the process of center of excellence accreditation.
About the leader
David Hadley has worked for Mediclinic in South Africa and the UAE for over 25 years, rising through the ranks to become CEO of Mediclinic Middle East in 2011. He is extremely passionate about the healthcare industry and is committed to working with the UAE government to create a world-leading healthcare sector in the country. He is very well-regarded within the industry and has been invited to join several government-led panels in areas directly related to healthcare and also the wider business community.