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Abed Al Rahman Sabra

Country Manager, Hoffmann-La Roche

Mounir Kharma

CEO, GlobeMed

What trends are you noticing in the Lebanese market? ABED AL RAHMAN SABRA In Lebanon, like in other countries around the world, there are many barriers preventing people from having […]

What trends are you noticing in the Lebanese market?

ABED AL RAHMAN SABRA In Lebanon, like in other countries around the world, there are many barriers preventing people from having access to quality healthcare, such as income levels, disease epidemiology, political commitment, and resources allocated to healthcare, along with the availability and quality of healthcare infrastructure. To address these barriers, the public and private sectors collaborate on many levels to seek sustainable solutions that promote access to care, through disease awareness, education, and the establishment of new healthcare centers in remote areas. The aim is to enable access to diagnosis, ensure the responsible use of medications, and ultimately improve patient health outcomes, especially for life-threatening diseases. On another side, healthcare professionals in Lebanon are highly exposed to global healthcare trends, research, and guidelines and are active participants in international meetings and congresses that help them transfer the best practices around the globe and deliver even greater results locally.

MOUNIR KHARMA Lebanon enjoys a professional medical education platform, with a longstanding tradition of success. The abundance of healthcare talent has consolidated Lebanon’s healthcare sector over the years. Against this, surplus capacity in some of the medical specialties has taken its toll as well, particularly due to an unfavorable system of remunerations to doctors. Indeed, the health sector in Lebanon has a comparative advantage distinguished with its professional resources and the facilities in place. Against this, a good number of other countries have reduced the gap under this comparative advantage, and in some instances surpassed Lebanon with the professionalism they have attained.

How closely do you work together with the government?

AARS We collaborate with the government in order to remove the different barriers that prevent the Lebanese population from having access to the right medical information, education, and treatment. Our major initiatives revolve around awareness campaigns that we have been doing for years in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, especially campaigns related to life-threatening diseases such as breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis B and C. We conduct other programs with governmental institutions and ministries with the aim of providing value to patients and society, and a commitment to improving access and making the treatment available.

MK I am an advocate of partnerships between governmental institutions and the private sector to strengthen the healthcare sector. Considering that the workings of the healthcare sector are fully embedded in the public interest, one cannot imagine the healthcare sector flourishing in the absence of governmental regulations, safety nets, and controls. Against that, government institutions are typically rigid and sluggish when it comes to implementation. The private sector is far more dynamic and creative, particularly in the service side of the sector, including the financial services side. Questions of cooperation between the sectors remains contingent upon how much power governmental institutions are willing to relinquish in favor of the private sector.

What is your strategy in Lebanon over the medium term?

AARS As a company that has always been open to new technologies and approaches, Roche has been setting medical milestones since the beginning. Roche’s primary contribution to improving global and local healthcare has been researching and developing new medicines and diagnostic tests that deliver significantly better treatment than those currently available. Our aim is to provide sustainable value by improving people’s health and by bringing clear medical and economic benefits to the Lebanese healthcare system and society.

MK GlobeMed has a number of initiatives underway with the aim of improving the quality of care as well as controlling costs. For example, we have already completed the proof of concept with respect to using outcomes management as a supplementary utilization review process. This is currently being deployed at all operations. Likewise, we have embarked on a program that will introduce case management services as of 2015. Similarly, we are introducing disease management processes covering a specific number of diseases. These will be expanded upon as we progress.

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