Aug. 26, 2015

Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany

Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany

CEO, King Fahad Medical City (KFMC)


Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany is an American and Canadian Board Qualified Neurosurgeon, with a Master of Health Care Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, US. He has been with King Fahad Medical City since 2004, serving as Chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and as Associate Executive Director of Medical Services between 2005 and 2008.

How would you characterize the unique role that KFMC plays in the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia?

KFMC started as a tertiary care organization under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health. The idea behind its establishment was to cater services to tertiary care patients in Saudi Arabia. We cover the core medical care competencies including but not limited to cancer therapy and the treatment of neurological and cardiac diseases, and endocrine diseases. KFMC covers many other areas of as well. We have looked at Ministry of Health data and statistics on the incidence and providence of diseases and the limited tertiary care services in Saudi Arabia in order to determine our specializations. Specialties were chosen based on demands not covered by other tertiary care organization like King Faisal Specialist Hospital, military hospitals and the National Guard hospitals to avoid duplication of services. KFMC helps take care of the needs of those patients who are not otherwise covered by health care on a tertiary care level, it receives referrals from all over the country, which are filtered through a medical committee deciding what needs treatment at KFMC versus what can be treated at a local facility. Through this process the patient receives a continuum of care once they return to their local hospital.

How is KFMC making investments to expand the capacity of the medical city?

In 2004 this complex was inaugurated, and it started by serving a mixture of secondary and tertiary care. In 2005 and 2006 we completed a healthcare study and found we needed to expand by 40%. We are expanding from 1,200 beds to 2,000 beds—the construction you see today is part of that plan—and we will be able to deliver services as 2000 bed tertiary care facility by 2017. This expansion was built based on population demographics of Riyadh region and quaternary care needs of the kingdom. We are now making attempts to expand our scholarship programs in order to provide more health care training for our workforce. We are developing local training programs in every specialty within the medical city. On the administrative side we have begun Master's degree programs in healthcare administration in collaboration with international universities, such as Washington University in St. Louis and University of Minnesota. In the first program we had 17 candidates, followed by 25 in the second, and this year our goal is to graduate 35 candidates. We are also developing a Master's degree program in research with 25 seats and, in collaboration with a university in the UK, a degree program in Medical Education.

What opportunities do you see for the private sector in health care?

Typically, countries spend roughly 10% of their GDP on healthcare, and we are beyond that. On estimates today we are spending 12% of our GDP on healthcare. This is a large amount spent on healthcare. Government organizations managing the hospitals are not able to provide comprehensive care without the help of the private sector. However, the private sector relies on private health insurance or out-of-pocket payments, and neither method is sustainable. Eventually, the GDP portion will continue to expand on healthcare, and this will be dangerous. The challenge for this system is to make sure that we use the budget on proper coverage. There is waste that needs to be contained, and one of the ways to do this is through a national health insurance system. The profit aspect of health insurance needs to be eliminated from the equation.