Market-driven care is the Rx for Saudi Arabian health
Contributor Beth Comstock is GE’s Chief Marketing Officer
I recently traveled to Saudi Arabia as part of GE’s collaboration with the Saudi government and national businesses. Saudi has embarked on far-reaching initiatives designed to move from an oil economy to a knowledge-based one centered on manufacturing, technology and high-value services. While there I signed an agreement with the Saudi Minister of Health to build a model of healthcare that can keep pace with Saudi’s rapid growth, meaning delivering more access to care, better quality and reasonable costs, which are also the three pillars of our healthymagination business strategy.
The agreement includes a Healthcare Learning Institute that will offer training in management, leadership, and clinical and technical areas help with standardizing and sharing skills; development of best practices in the area of healthcare information technology; and advisory services in areas such as optimizing hospital design and primary care.There will also be a series of consumer outreach campaigns focused on early screening for diseases such as breast cancer and cardiovascular disease..
Saudi Arabia is addressing the strains that will be placed on its system before they become full-fledged problems. Demand for healthcare in Saudi Arabia is growing dramatically due to a rapidly growing population that is seeing the lifestyle factors that come with affluence – such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity –impact health. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has a very young population that will become older due to the longer life spans that develop in more affluent countries. It’s estimated that percentage of the population over 60 is expected to double by 2020 and the population as a whole will grow by more than 20 percent.
As a result, the government is committed to a course that will in the end create a system that is more responsive to the health needs of Saudi consumers. These changes are good for the country, good for the people of Saudi Arabia, and they’re good for GE, which can apply its expertise and technologies in a way that makes more people healthy. Healthymagination’s focus on providing “just-what’s-needed” high technology is the right approach for the market-driven innovation that Saudi Arabia seeks.
* Read about our earlier agreement with Saudi Arabia
* Read about our earlier Middle East stories on GE Reports
* Read more healthymagination stories on GE Reports
* Read more: How healthy is Saudi Arabia? Data visualisation