Interview with Salah G. Malek, President, Middle East and Africa, Getinge.

It is not just the ground-breaking innovations in healthcare that matters; what is equally critical are the "step by step innovations and everyday improvements" that have a tremendous impact on a larger number of patients, says Salah G. Malek, President of Getinge for the Middle East and Africa region.

Innovation will continue to drive development in the sector, he adds, "both in terms of technology and business models, but also when it comes to setting the organisation in the best way to increase efficiency in the patient flow."

Salah G. Malek began his career with Medicals International in1998 where as Managing Partner, a few years later, he gained knowledge, experience and insights by handling 13 markets and 12 offices. He joined the Maquet Dubai office with the objective of leveraging his local experience to fulfill Maquet’s Mission: Raising the standards of patient care. Today, as president of Getinge for the Middle East and Africa region, he says, "The zeal continues, unabated."

As President of Getinge for the Middle East and Africa region, what do you think is currently driving the healthcare industry forward, both in the MENA region and globally?

It’s a combination of things that are interlinked:

  • First, we see a population increase coupled with longer life expectancy that drives demand for efficient health care.
  • Second, besides higher demand, limited resources will drive the healthcare system in the direction of value based healthcare; by increasing clinical outcomes and reducing the total cost of care.
  • Third, innovation will continue to drive development. Both in terms of technology and business models, but also when it comes to setting the organization in the best way to increase efficiency in the patient flow. When it comes to technology we will continue to develop devices for better procedures and rapid recovery, which will shorten the length of stay in hospitals. But perhaps, what is more interesting is that we expect digitalization to bring a lot of benefits, both when it comes to patient flows and in how to diagnose and treat patients.
  • Finally, the patient behavior, driven by connectivity is changing. Patients do not only want to know about the treatments they will receive but they also want to participate in the choice of the treatment. 

What current trends do you see specifically in the UAE healthcare industry and what do you see as the growth areas going forward?

The UAE healthcare industry remains attractive and will reflect on revenue growth. I am confident that the UAE will continue to play a major role as a medical hub for the region. 

What, according to you, are the main ideas/strategies that will transform the healthcare industry of the future?

The hospital of the future should be excellent in:

  • Providing high clinical outcome at reduced costs.
  • Lean management to limit waste and increase efficiencies.
  • Provide a great patient experience to our new informed and more involved patients.

We evolve in our solutions offering to ones that really pay attention to not only high clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction, but also drives productivity and efficiency. By doing so we can bring more and better health care to a growing number of patients – with the same resources. We see a significant potential in this, not only in the actual treatments and devices, but also in how to manage patient flows. As one example, we offer a solution for more efficient flows of patients that bring a double digit improvement in productivity. We are committed to help our customers to make one more surgery in each operating room each day. This will have a significant impact, not only on waiting times, but also from a financial perspective for each hospital as we are using existing resources in a more efficient way. 

We also see a strong need to handle the growing threat from multi resistant bacteria and the risk of actually getting an infection when visiting a hospital. This is what happens to millions of people each year around the world, and many of them actually die as a consequence. We can be a part of the solution for this.

Finally, we strongly believe in digitalization. Not only in terms of bringing more accurate and timely diagnostics and treatments, but also in terms of increased efficiency in flows of patients, staff and sterile goods. 

How important is innovation in healthcare? What are the technological, medical and strategic innovations that your company brings to the healthcare arena?

Innovation is crucial. But too often we tend to focus on the ground-breaking innovations and tend to forget the step by step innovations and everyday improvements that really matter for the largest part of all the patients out there. Both are equally important. 

We also tend to focus on technological innovations. Organizational innovations and development together with having the right infrastructure are sometimes even more important, in order to actually being able to utilize the new technology in the best possible way. 

What is your plan for Arab Health? What products or technology will you be showcasing?

For 2019 we will focus on our total portfolio - products, solutions and services such as OR solutions, low temperature sterilization within the Central Sterile Supply Department, hospital solutions and Getinge Financial Services.

As a company closely associated with Arab Health for the past several years, how would you evaluate the impact of the event on the healthcare industry in the MENA region?

Arab Health provides Getinge with the opportunity to share technologies and services with existing and potential new customers. It also allows us to discuss the challenges in the region and what we need to do to address them moving forward.

How has Arab Health aided your company’s yearly strategy in developing business opportunities in this growing region?

Arab Health is a very popular exhibition. It is heavily attended by all healthcare stakeholders and it does provide a perfect opportunity to meet and find ways to serve our industry.

27 - 30 January 2020