NAME OF THE GAME: EFFICIENCY

Dubai 2018 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Majid Kaddoumi, Vice President & Regional Managing Director of Medtronic, on Dubai's advantages, value-based healthcare, and meaningful partnerships.

Majid Kaddoumi,
BIOGRAPHY
Majid Kaddoumi joined Medtronic in 2012 as the Vice President and Managing Director of the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and Turkey. Prior to his current position, he was Country General Manager for GE Healthcare in Saudi Arabia when the company became market leader. He also acted as Zone Manager for Saudi devices in GE Healthcare and oversaw impressive growth of the business. Before joining GE, Kaddoumi was the general manager of a leading Saudi distribution and packaging company for healthcare equipment and services. Kaddoumi holds a master’s in international law and a bachelor’s of public administration and economics from the American University in Washington D.C.

What are the most important advantages of having Dubai as a regional base for Medtronic?

It has been a great journey for us, the whole process of which was triggered by the talent we were able to acquire within Dubai. Dubai has provided a platform that allows us to easily communicate and engage with the healthcare programs around the region by being a hub that attracts many visitors and innovative solutions. The maturity of thinking about healthcare issues within the public and private sectors is among the best across the region, and we learned a great deal through these interactions. Through its location in the heart of the emerging markets, Dubai helps us in ensuring we connect and contribute to the healthcare trends across the region.

How do you partner with governmental health institutions in Dubai?

We have been discussing with the healthcare authorities across the UAE and the Ministry of Health on multiple programs. These programs are focused on improving the quality of care for patients, delivering the latest technologies, and awareness programs. Having said that, Medtronic is also shifting from being a company that produces some of the world's best technologies in healthcare to a partner that ensures the delivery of these technologies is meaningful. The idea is that patients get the best technologies in the most efficient environment. Our aim is to improve patient outcome through controlled costs and improved accessibility to therapies without compromising on quality. Penetration rates and accessibility for patients are still at an initial stage, and there is a great deal more to happen. That expansion eventually means more spending and pressure on the budget. Governments and hospitals depend on partners like us to not only produce the technology and the device itself, which has a clinical output value, but also to help them maintain an efficient process around the patient flows, patient recovery times, inventory availability, and so on. In this way, additional budgets can have the largest impact on the public. At the moment, the major challenge is to raise the standards of healthcare and improve accessibility without increasing costs, or rather while reducing the overall costs of care. Medtronic can meaningfully address this challenge, and we are driving toward what is called value-based healthcare in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority and certain hospital chains.

What are the most important trends and developments in the healthcare industry?

Certain trends in the region have been to make the system more accessible, build more hospitals and increase bed capacity, and attract more talent from outside the country to address some of the clear challenges across the entire region. When we look at bed capacity and the number of patients per physician, these capacities are much lower than what we see in a European or North American system. In addition, the standard of care still lags behind. The scarcity of physicians is one of the challenges this region faces, therefore it is important to see a higher output per physician than we see in a European or North American setting. Medtronic has had some programs in major countries around the region where we work together to improve the patient flow and the number of patients treated per bed or per physician. The region should now relook at its entire healthcare system and learn from the lessons of mature systems in Europe and the US. We need to build infrastructure; however, if we want to treat double the number of patients, we do not necessarily need to double the number of beds and hospitals. The efficiency of the system could be enhanced, for example by establishing centers of excellence, with high expertise in one location that can elevate everyone's skillsets. There will always be a need for certain general hospitals, though by establishing more centers of excellence, for example cardiology, obesity, or diabetes, their impact and efficiency will be higher.