Amro Kandil, managing director Northeast Africa for GE Healthcare, outlines how his affiliate has grown to be the partner of choice for the Egyptian government as it seeks to improve the level of medical technology available in institutions throughout Egypt.
GE Healthcare has invested in the oncology team in Egypt in the last few years, which has resulted in the largest market share in the sector
Through partnerships with both public and private institutions in Egypt, GE Healthcare has been a reliable provider of medical solutions in the country for more than 40 years. Its contribution to Egypt’s healthcare sector is reflected in the company’s almost 15,000 healthcare technologies, powering hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Managing Director Amro Kandil, who was appointed to the position in January 2018, highlights GE Healthcare’s commitment to the country, which is “evident by ongoing investment, as Egypt is one of the continent’s largest platforms for healthcare, due to its population size and economic growth.” The Egyptian affiliate has been growing continuously, now having more than 220 employees, while opening a new training centre in Cairo.
Egypt’s evolving healthcare environment, which has the double burden of infectious and chronic non-communicable diseases paired with high rates of traffic injuries, presents diverse challenges for healthcare companies; a situation which Kandil understands well. Identifying these treatment areas, he states “Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for people in Egypt, while, cancer is on the rise. Moreover, Egypt remains one of the countries with the highest fatality rates caused by traffic and road accidents. That translates into the need for both primary care and trauma services.”
Despite these challenges, Kandil sees GE Healthcare as well-positioned to help address the country’s challenges, because it can offer a broad and diverse mix of advanced medical technologies. “GE Healthcare has invested in the oncology team in Egypt in the last few years, which has resulted in the largest market share in the sector, thanks to the trust customers have in our products and solutions. We have an excellent package offering affordable financing solutions, high-quality products and excellent after-sales support,” he declares. Adding to that, he states that “GE Healthcare is offering many mobile solutions in the traumatic area and we are training ambulance workers to achieve the best care possible.”
Acknowledging the specificities of the Egyptian market, GE Healthcare has adapted its business model in the country, as financing the purchases of diagnostic and treatment equipment often remains a challenge. Kandil explains that “our headquarters have understood that emerging markets like Egypt require a different business approach than developed countries. We have invested in an affordable care product line specialized for markets like Egypt, providing the required service at reasonable cost.” Additionally, the company announced the signing of cooperation agreement with Banque Misr to fund hospitals and clinics to purchase medical equipment. Through ultra-competitive equipment financing to healthcare companies, agents, hospitals and clinics, the solution helps healthcare providers to purchase GE Healthcare’s innovative medical equipment. As a result, these clinics and hospitals will be in a better position to nurture and expand their businesses, ultimately bringing better healthcare to more patients.
Setting out the priorities of his tenure as managing director, Kandil emphasizes his ambition to improve GE Healthcare’s training offerings, as he identified “a clear need for education and after-sales support in the medtech industry.” He underlines that for patients “it is crucial to know how to use all the options of our machines to serve the patient with one of the best image qualities, which leads to better diagnostics. Overall my goal is to provide continuous education and further improve after-sales services.”
In support of these efforts, GE Healthcare announced the inauguration of its first training centre in Egypt in February 2019, aiming to provide advanced training to medical professionals throughout the country. A core part of the part of the global, five-year, USD one billion GE Healthcare Education program, the centre will initially train some 200 radiologists and radiographers on GE Healthcare equipment annually, with a focus on diagnostic imaging equipment such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and other scanner technologies.
As partner of the government, GE Healthcare has contributed to the authorities’ efforts to eradicate Hepatitis C, even before the very successful 100 Million Seha campaign had been launched. Kandil highlights that “GE Healthcare was the first multinational company to set up a training centre for government workers to use ultrasound machines in collaboration with the Ministry of Health more than ten years ago and it has been a huge success until today.”
Moreover, GE Healthcare launched a new ultrasound system called the LOGIQ™ S8 XDclear™ 2.0 in Egypt; a diagnostic system that materially advances the detection and treatment of chronic liver disease. Many chronic liver diseases are caused by Hepatitis C and, according to Kandil, one of the most significant challenges in Egypt’s fight against the infectious diseases is diagnosing patients who aren’t aware of their infection. He highlights that “until recently, the best tests to diagnose and assess liver disease severity were blood tests and painful liver biopsies. We are excited to bring this powerful, innovative diagnostic solution to Egypt, and believe that this system will bring enormous benefit to both clinicians and patients in cities and communities across the country.”
Looking ahead, Kandil highlights the importance of digital technology and artificial intelligence. “We are not just providing software, it’s about doing the right thing, at the right time, for every patient. We call this precision health. Precision health is an approach to health care that is integrated, highly personalized to each patient and reduces waste and inefficiency – using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Despite the challenging environment in Egypt, facing a high prevalence of certain diseases and structural problems, Kandil concludes that “GE Healthcare is committed to the country, as Egypt is a huge land of opportunity, but flexibility is needed to be successful as it is an ever-changing environment.”
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