The Pulse: Keeping Iraq’s Medical Equipment ‘Healthy’
The health-care environment in Iraq is changing rapidly. Not only is health-care spending by the government and the private sector up sharply – nearly $8 billion in 2012, from $4.47 billion just two years earlier – but the government this year launched a new health care plan that prioritizes primary health care accessibility across the country.
As a result, the new and expanded clinics being developed are offering a broader range of healthcare services, which in turn requires that more and more diagnostic and treatment equipment be installed around the country.
While it’s a crucial step to put these tools into the hands of practitioners, it’s equally important that this medical equipment stay in good working order. This necessitates regular and timely service, maintenance and repair – something that is no easy task, given the country’s size, its uncertain security situation and current infrastructure gaps.
To help address this challenge, GE worked in coordination with the Ministry of Health to establish the GE Healthcare Service Centre in Baghdad. This facility monitors and repairs the more than 2,000 pieces of advanced GE equipment – from bedside ventilators to computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging machines (MRI) – that are in operation across more than 250 ministry clinics, hospitals and other health-care facilities in Iraq.
Available via a toll-free phone call, the Service Center can address the problem right away or assign a field engineer, backed by online regional and global experts, to the issue.
More than 30 distributor field engineers have access to GE’s Remote Virtual Assist tool to troubleshoot problems by tapping into GE Healthcare’s global service networks. In the future, the Service Center will install GE’s InSite platform, which will provide a direct link between GE equipment and a suite of online services, allowing GE to remotely diagnose and service equipment.
Healthcare is evolving in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) as the medical needs change, requiring the latest technologies and quality of care. GE is helping realize this evolution, examples of which are profiled in “The Pulse” posts on Hewar. For more on GE Healthcare in MENAT, click here.