Interview: Haris Izmee – Director, GE Healthcare Indonesia

Haris Izmee, director at GE Healthcare Indonesia, explains the strong commitment of the company towards improving access, affordability and quality and highlights the company’s significant investments in internal capabilities and education.

The former global President & CEO of GE Healthcare, John Flannery, has recently been appointed as global President & CEO of General Electric holding. How do you believe this management transition will impact GE Healthcare’s operations overall, and specifically in Indonesia?

“Indonesia continues to be one of the key markets of GE Healthcare globally and the biggest one in the ASEAN region.”

Leadership changes are not uncommon in companies since they go hand in hand with the evolution of any enterprise. Concretely, we all perceive John as a great professional to lead GE’s operations moving forward.

From the global GE perspective, John has long experience in the corporation and, therefore, he perfectly understands the overall business of GE. Indeed, he has had exposure to other industries within the GE umbrella, and, more recently GE Healthcare. From the GE Healthcare perspective, I believe that this management change will solidify our business strategy moving forward.

Regarding our operations in the country, Indonesia continues to be one of the key markets of GE Healthcare globally and the biggest one in the ASEAN region. I do not have any doubt that our headquarters will continue supporting our expansion in Indonesia with strong as well as continuous investments in our people and educational programs.

Indonesia accounts for 30 percent of GE Healthcare’s business in South East Asia. Could you pinpoint the reasons that position Indonesia as such a strategic market for GE Healthcare?

Just looking at demographic data, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country globally with more than 250 million inhabitants. Furthermore, the implementation of the universal healthcare coverage (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional – JKN) has boosted the demand of healthcare services. Hence, GE Healthcare strongly supports the government in the implementation of this ambitious healthcare program. Indeed, once is fully implemented, it will be positioned as one of the biggest universal healthcare coverage systems in the world.

The corporate motto, “Healthymagination” aims to enhance healthcare quality, access and affordability in order to bring better health to people. How is this global philosophy implemented in Indonesia?

Since GE Healthcare’s inception in Indonesia, we have always advanced alongside three main axes: enlarging market access, improving quality, and enhancing affordability. In fact, we are continuously thinking about these three pillars when undertaking business decisions and I am really delighted about the alignment with the current government goals. Additionally, I would like to highlight that, globally and related to our “Healthymagination” motto, GE invests more that USD 6 billion in developing new technologies.

We have totally transitioned from being product- to being solution-oriented, looking to only introduce those products to Indonesia that can create healthcare breakthroughs targeted at local challenges, needs and trends. Focusing on emerging markets and Indonesia, we are developing an affordable healthcare portfolio that maintains the highest level of quality but only includes the most relevant features according to our clients needs while at the same time making our solutions more accessible.

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Mr. Izmee, you have been leading GE Healthcare in Indonesian for more than three years. What are the top priorities on your agenda in 2017?

Building up a successful affordable healthcare portfolio in Indonesia is one of my main priorities. In addition, our partnerships with stakeholders such as the government, associations and customers play an important role in my agenda since this approach ensures that we remain at the forefront of market trends. My third priority is education in order to build up medical capabilities in the country. We have done more than 75 education events in the last three years and trained more than 2,000 healthcare professionals.

I am personally very proud of our current positioning in Indonesia, being one of the top players in the domestic medical devices industry. Nevertheless, I also believe that we have a strong potential ahead and we should seek for bigger impact.

Even though the medical devices industry in Indonesia is still underdeveloped, it has been growing double digits during the last decade and it is expected to reach USD 1 billion in 2020. Considering such a promising future, what are your growth targets for 2017/2018?

Looking at the historical performance, we have been growing at a double-digit rate over the last years and we expect to perform above market average in the next five years. I strongly believe that my aforementioned three priorities as well as the strong investment commitment of GE Healthcare in Indonesia will successfully drive our operations in the country.

Could you expand on the investment commitment of GE Healthcare in Indonesia?

In 2015, we undertook in Indonesia the largest investment that has ever been done in the APAC region focusing on two key areas: internal capabilities and education. In fact, this investment has not stopped yet and we are still enlarging our team, partners, and portfolio.

The universal healthcare system (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional – JKN) is one of the main factors that can boost the national healthcare industry. How is this program impacting or affecting GE Healthcare’s operations?

Even though we have experienced double-digit growth in our both public and private segments, we currently have around 60 percent of our business allocated in the government market.

Having said that, JKN has also impacted our private segment since more than 50 percent of the hospitals in Indonesia are private and the government needs their support to successfully implement JKN. Consequently, more and more private hospitals are getting their infrastructure ready to cope with the increasing demand coming from JKN’s patients.

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In addition, and going beyond than just providing equipment, we are continuously giving training courses to healthcare professionals from doctors to nurses as well as counseling services in order to optimize the usage of our equipment in both public and private hospitals.

In an increasing digital era today, how do you believe technology will impact the standards of care provided by healthcare institutions, especially in Indonesia?

Digital is a key element for GE in all its businesses. In fact, nearly all our equipment has had cloud capabilities for many years. We have solid evidence that our digital capabilities significantly help our customers to enhance their operational efficiency while, at the same time, offering better quality treatments.

Expanding on telemedicine, we are dialoguing on a regular basis with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia to introduce these technologies in the country. In fact, we already have a team of remote engineers locally to provide our clients with remote maintenance through our digital technologies.

The government is really interested in introducing telemedicine because it would strongly help the country to overcome national healthcare burdens such as the lack of infrastructure and healthcare professionals. Nonetheless, there are some inherent barriers to the implementation telemedicine capabilities, especially in terms of regulatory and privacy restrictions.

Medical Education plays an important role in the equipment industry to ensure that end-users are properly using the devices and take advantage of its maximum potential. How is GE Healthcare helping its clients to take advantage of its solutions?

Our training programs are not just for doctors but also to all the different levels of healthcare professionals. We provide interesting education courses through our ASEAN Healthcare Learning Institute (AHLI). Looking ahead, we are looking to expand our footprint in the education arena offering other programs that are not just medical-related but at the same time needed in hospitals, including leadership and management trainings.

In a nutshell, what role do you foresee GE Healthcare playing in the Indonesian healthcare system?

We are committed to be positioned as a partner to the healthcare system. This means government, customers, and associations. GE Healthcare aims to be at the forefront of the industry needs providing not just products but healthcare solutions that create significant healthcare breakthroughs and ultimately, enhance the overall system.

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