PASSING THE TEST

Jordan 2019 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

MedLabs Consultancy is bringing world-class medical testing services to Jordan and the region, reinventing what used to be a “one-man show."

Dr. Hassib Sahyoun
BIOGRAPHY
Dr. Hassib Sahyoun received his master’s and doctorate from the University of Bradford, followed by three years of post-doctoral research which resulted in 19 international publications. He moved to Jordan in 1981 to pursue a career in clinical pathology. In 1993, through his vision, he co-founded MedLabs Consultancy Group, the first group practice in laboratory medicine in the region. Dr. Sahyoun has been a prominent figure in the Jordanian private healthcare sector for over 35 years. In 2017, he was elected as the Chairman of the Medical Laboratories Association in Jordan and recently was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Bradford for his contribution to the field of laboratory medicine.

What have been your main achievements over the last year, and where does the company stand after 25 years?

The biggest achievement for MedLabs Consultancy Group has been changing the culture of how medical laboratories are structured in Jordan and the region. Up until 1993, laboratories were always a one-man show. A specialist would open a lab and serve doctors and patients, but with limited scope and sustainability. Laboratory medicine encompasses several subspecialties and therefore group practice was needed to best serve physicians and their patients. In 1993, MedLabs was able to create the first group practice in laboratory medicine. MedLabs Consultancy Group began with the merger of four private laboratories headed by five doctors each with a different laboratory medicine subspecialties. Today, 25 years later, MedLabs Consultancy Group has more than 50 laboratories in three countries—Jordan, Palestine, and Northern Iraq and a world standard reference laboratory in Amman. MedLabs employs more than 450 scientists, consultants, and management professionals. It has achieved the highest international accreditations including the College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation, which is the gold standard for laboratory quality, the European ISO 15189 Laboratory Accreditation, and the management ISO 2001-2009 certification. Locally, we were honored to be awarded the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence in 2011 and are currently accrediting all our branches with a world-class Jordanian accreditation (HCAC).

How does MedLabs Consultancy Group incorporate technological development and innovation into its operations?

We work closely with international suppliers, and because of our high number of tests, we can justify introducing the most sophisticated equipment. There are several arms to our business; one is serving doctors and patients through our 50 laboratories and another is our reference lab that performs all the highly specialized tests, such as genetics, neonatal screening, and surgical pathology that serves more than 150 referring laboratories from within the MedLabs group as well as local and regional non-MedLabs laboratories. Regionally, we serve laboratories from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, UAE, Palestine, and Sudan.

What would be your message to people looking to partner with MedLabs Consultancy Group, and what are the advantages of doing business in Jordan?

MedLabs is a highly transparent company with clear goals and a deep sense of responsibility. We believe in excellence in what we do and how we serve our communities. One of the key assets in Jordan is the availability of highly quality personnel in all fields including laboratory medicine. In Jordan, the regulations are clear, there are excellent human resources, there is stability and security in the country, and its geographical location is strategic.

What developments can we expect from MedLabs Consultancy Group in the year ahead?

Other than the horizontal local and regional expansions mentioned earlier, we also grow vertically. We are regional pioneers in neonatal screening and are currently introducing many advanced tests that have been unavailable in Jordan or the region, mainly in the field of genetics (such as whole genome sequencing). On a human resource development level, I believe that whether you are in Jordan or elsewhere in the world, over the last 20 to 30 years the way the capitalist systems have evolved, humanity has been thrown out the window in the workplace. Therefore, my message is to bring humanity back to the workplace. This is what we have done and are continuing to do in MedLabs. After all, the human element works the machines, applies the systems, and serves the community. If your internal community is not happy, satisfied, motivated, trusted, and empowered, your organization will not be sustainable.