(MENAFN Press) Dubai, UAE: Regional governments are increasingly focusing their efforts towards creating world-class healthcare facilities, and in doing so are improving the country's regulatory environment and capacity planning. Governments are increasingly looking to Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to help ease the burden on the healthcare facilities, as well as helping with the financial impact of opening/renovating healthcare facilities across the region.
These changes in healthcare legislation and the encouragement of private sector participation has led to numerous changes to the healthcare landscape in the region, and has opened the doors for non-clinical service providers to grow their business in the field of construction and renovation of healthcare facilities.
During Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East 2012, running from 4-6 June at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Deloitte we will be presenting a series of healthcare landscape presentations outlining these challenges in regional healthcare regulation.
"The UAE today has a bed density (beds/1,000 inhabitants) of 2, which is within the GCC average. However when compared to economies like Germany (8), UK (4) and USA (3), the UAE lags behind," says Julian Hawkins, Partner In Charge of Deloitte Consulting for the Middle East. "Two sector growth models have emerged in the UAE aimed at increasing the number of hospitals and beds. The first model, adopted by the DHA, is aimed at attracting private sector investment through the establishment of Healthcare free zones such as Dubai HealthCare City. The second model, developed by SEHA, is aimed at developing partnerships with leading international healthcare providers to manage and operate government owned hospitals in Abu Dhabi."
One issue that has become apparent in the UAE's healthcare sector is that it is quite fragmented with different health authorities operating in silos and with a high degree of autonomy.
"This means that they mandate different regulatory policies resulting in differences in the licensing process of physicians and facilities across the authorities," Hawkins explains. "Although a law was introduced in 2009 to establish a Federal Health Authority (FHA), which aimed at increasing interaction between the regulators in the UAE, it was abolished in 2012."
One of the main differentiating factors that the UAE healthcare providers have achieved is that they have been very active at seeking international accreditation driven by an increased emphasis on the importance of hospital safety and quality. The advent of international accreditation bodies in the country such as Joint Commission international (JCI) and the emergence of the UAE as number 1 in the world in terms of number of JCI accredited facilities (54 healthcare providers accredited), has also benefited the country as it played a huge role in the development of medical tourism.
According to Hawkins: "In our experience, what is important for decision makers is to consider each deal and opportunity on its own merits and to make sure that they base the business model decision on a wide set of criteria and underpin the decision with sound and robust analysis. In addition, there is the ongoing need for good monitoring and control mechanisms to be in place and that management has the control of the key levers to make the necessary adjustments to effectively manage the business."
As the Hospital Build events cover the complete scope of these upcoming projects from construction and fit-out to management, the event will be changing its name to Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East.
"The name change is done to justify the complete spectrum of exhibitors in the event portfolio, and to encapsulate the full range of conferences and presentations running alongside the exhibition," says Simon Page, Managing Director “ Life Sciences, Informa Exhibitions.
Hospital Build & Infrastructure is the fastest-growing, global business-to-business platform dedicated to bringing together investors, commissioners, backers and managers of healthcare-related building projects with key players in planning, design, construction, operations, management, supply and refurbishment. As investment in the region's healthcare infrastructure continues to rise, this event is set to be bigger than ever with more than 130 exhibitors covering 5,000sqm of exhibition floor space, an estimated 4,500 visitors, as well as more than 600 conference delegates.