KSA: King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), one of the largest medical complexes in the Kingdom, and GE Healthcare have signed a definitive agreement to set up a comprehensive Healthcare Skills Training Institute within KFMC.
In the presence of Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and GE’s Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Yamany, CEO of KFMC, and Skander Malcolm, president and CEO of GE Healthcare’s Eastern and Africa Growth Markets region, signed the agreement, which outlines the scope of the partnership, the roles of the respective partners and the long-term objectives of the Institute.
Combining the extensive capabilities and expertise of KFMC and GE, the Healthcare Skills Training Institute is part of GE’s $1 billion investment commitment to the Kingdom announced last year and will offer technical, clinical and healthcare management courses.
Healthcare professionals from Saudi Arabia and across the region are expected to benefit from the institute, which aims to advance health care skills and training competencies in the Kingdom. The institute complements the goals outlined in Saudi Arabia’s Ninth Development Plan for the health care sector and the Ministry of Health’s (MOH’s) Strategic Healthcare Plan (SHP), and is in line with MOH’s Patient First strategy.
Al-Rabeeah said: “Building the skills of our professionals while further modernizing the health care infrastructure are key priorities of the ministry’s SHP, which is focused on the adoption of an integrated and comprehensive health care system with the development of research and education. Over the past few years we have been striving to achieve our goals through strategic health care development projects and in-depth training programs through private sector partnerships. The new Healthcare Skills Training Institute will further contribute to building a stronger talent pool of Saudi health care professionals trained here in Saudi for Saudi.”
Al-Yemani, deputy minister for planning and health economics, Ministry of Health, said: “The MOH, in line with its Patient First strategy, is working to strengthen all performance indicators to promote the overall wellbeing of the community. One of the key pillars in elevating the overall health care infrastructure of the Kingdom is to focus further on providing advanced training to our professionals.
This also complements the government’s vision to build a knowledge-based economy. The new Institute can thus play a significant role in shaping a future talent pool of health care professionals in the Kingdom.”
Al-Yemani said: “Under the guidance of the minister of health, KFMC is focused on innovation and supporting health care transformation in Saudi Arabia. In this, providing training to our professionals is a priority. KFMC is honored to be working closely with the ministry’s planning and development department to provide the best-in-class health care services standards and a highly-skilled professional cadre. This long-term partnership sees the unique combination of GE’s renowned leadership training capabilities matched with KFMC’s state-of-the-art offerings.
The new institute will contribute to upgrading the standards of health care by providing localized training programs designed to meet the specific needs of Saudi health care professionals right here in the Kingdom, for the first time.”
Malcolm added: “With specialized GE Healthcare training facilities across the globe, the Healthcare Skills Training Institute marks the first time that GE has partnered with a Ministry of Health to develop an on-site training program that addresses the specific healthcare needs of a country. We are hugely proud of this accomplishment in the Kingdom, which also highlights the progress in the successful execution of GE’s $1 billion investment commitment across key growth sectors in Saudi Arabia.”
“Through our partnership with the Ministry, GE is supporting knowledge-sharing and capacity building to boost the Kingdom’s health care infrastructure in Saudi for Saudi professionals. Having already extended our training support to over 4,500 Saudi professionals through more than 200 courses, GE will work with the ministry and KFMC to custom-design training programs that complement the MOH’s health care transformation goals and Strategic Healthcare Plan. The Institute is a strong demonstration of our long-term commitment to the Kingdom and to our partners in further building a culture of localized innovation in the health care sector.”
The Healthcare Skills Training Institute will offer several hundred leadership, technical and clinical education courses, with a consortium of educational partners. MOH, KFMC and GE will also explore options to deliver certified intensive care unit courses, leadership programs for healthcare professionals, as well as to deploy online and classroom continuing medical education (CME) courses on CT, MR, x-ray, ultrasound and radiology.
The institute will also conduct health studies for other health care establishments and cooperate with international entities for providing cutting edge training programs in the Kingdom. Specifically, custom-designed training modules will be developed to support the MOH’s National Breast Cancer Screening Program. Other new courses include neonatal, e-health interoperability and Patient First, e-learning, and educational videos.
To mark the signing, an exhibition showcasing GE Healthcare’s contributions to the Kingdom was hosted at the MOH underscoring significant projects currently being led by the ministry with the support of GE. At the “Partners in Excellence” event, Immelt addressed the MOH professionals underlining the company’s commitment to the Kingdom.
The event put the spotlight on GE’s healthymagination initiative, which aims to increase access to better quality and more affordable health care. Further to the announcement made jointly by the MOH and GE in September 2012, the showcase also highlighted strong progress made on the ministry’s performance optimization and e-health interoperability standards programs for the Kingdom.
The MOH is also collaborating with GE on a two-phased development of a population health and health service visualization and simulation modeling called Corvix Saudi that can simulate disease states and/or infrastructure expansion scenarios to inform strategic decisions related to health services and infrastructure investment.
In addition to these programs, the new Saudi GE Innovation Center inaugurated in January 2013 and based in Dhahran Techno Valley, will serve as a central meeting point and research center where GE and its partners including the MOH can collaborate to solve Saudi Arabia’s toughest challenges.
The ministry and GE have validated and delivered hospital operational efficiencies and clinical improvements in 20 hospitals across the Kingdom, with more than 36,000 patient waiting hours eliminated in one ED, enabling patients to be seen more quickly and freeing up capacity for additional volume. Among other results, one program supported an 80 percent improvement in triage accuracy across all hospitals, among other benefits.
Today, more than 20,000 GE Healthcare technologies are deployed across the Kingdom’s hospitals. With over 120 experts dedicated to installing and servicing equipment in all corners of the Kingdom, GE has the scale to support Saudi Arabia’s progressive health care system with the high standards of quality and care. The company has two dedicated call centers and a toll free hotline with trained agents, two repair centers to provide effective and economical solutions, and over 8,000 parts in stock adapted to local needs for fast availability.
© Arab News 2013Sep 2013