The SGH Group is working towards providing all healthcare services in every corner of the Gulf and beyond
Drive has moved SGH into a new era of healthcare industry development, where the scope and goals got elevated from a local ambition to a regional ambition. Now the SGH Group’s vision is “To design, finance, construct and operate 30 world-class hospitals by 2018 and create 50,000 jobs in healthcare industry.”
Taking a deeper look at the success story of the Group, MediWorld ME met with
Dr. Reem Osman, CEO Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, UAE. Here is our conversation in a Q&A format.
Considered the largest private healthcare provider in the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), the Saudi German Hospitals Group is a multi-functional healthcare company which is considered a healthcare developer and not just an operator. The Group constructs its own hospitals and finances its developments with the support of the local government and development banks.
In addition, the SGH Group operates its hospitals in cooperation with numerous German medical schools and faculties. The Group establishes a new hospital every year, hence, adding 500 employees annually. Around 3,000 employees are currently working under SGH group with a growth rate of 16 per cent per year.
SGH Group started in 1988 in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where it was owned solely by the Batterjee family that had a unique spiritual vision which is derived from one verse from the Holy Quran that could be transliterated as “And if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved all of mankind.”
That drive has moved SGH into a new era of healthcare industry development, where the scope and goals got elevated from a local ambition to a regional ambition. Now the SGH Group’s vision is “To design, finance, construct and operate 30 world-class hospitals by 2018 and create 50,000 jobs in healthcare industry.”
Taking a deeper look at the success story of the Group, MediWorld ME met with Dr Reem Osman, CEO Saudi German Hospital, Dubai, UAE. Here is our conversation in a Q&A format.
Can you briefly tell about this illustrious journey?
To establish a good healthcare in the region was the vision of Mr Sobhi Batterjee, an Engineer and Founder & President of Saudi German Hospitals Group – the first hospital established back in 1988 in Jeddah. The hospital was co-founded by Dr. Khalid Batterjee, Orthopedic Surgeon who graduated from Germany.
Mr Batterjee felt the need to establish the hospital in order to decrease the number of patients travelling to Germany from KSA to seek treatments. In addition, the group also introduced German Professor Visiting Program which has been in practice since 1988.
After the success of the first hospital, Mr Batterjee decided that good healthcare should be available everywhere, particularly in regions where the availability of healthcare service is scarce in the 80’s and 90’s. Soon, Saudi German Hospitals Group (SGHG) was formed in 2006.
Later, three more hospital joined the group — SGH Riyadh, Aseer and Madinah – all these hospitals are well-equipped and house 300 beds. The group began to spread its wings and soon it opened its first hospital SGH in Yemen. It was a huge step for the group as SGH Yemen was the first 300 beds and tertiary hospital outside KSA. With the success of SGH Yemen, the group began to expand regionally. The group is currently planning to open SGH Hail and other SGH projects in Dammam and Makkah. The group also came up with one more hospital in Dubai, the first hospital to develop completed healthcare city within the premises, in 2012 and in Cairo in 2016. It was soon looking to expand throughout the Emirates, in Sharjah, Ajman and even expand to Alexandria. Further, SGH Group plans to open three more projects in Pakistan’s Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The group always works hand in hand with Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to be a part of the all new mandates that the authority establishes.
In 2015-2016, the group achieved the highest score Level 5 in EMRAM (Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model) among all private hospital in Dubai. SGHD is also the first private hospital that initiated the Smart Pharmacy Automation System, to ensure that right medication reaches the right patient. The group is looking towards advancement in healthcare – such as organ transplant and latest robotic surgery.
In your opinion, how has the health care sector evolved over the decades across the UAE?
SGH has been in the healthcare sector for the past five and a half years, and we have noticed that there has been a tremendous development and growth in the private and government healthcare sector in the UAE. Not just the quantity but even the quality of services provided in the Emirates or Dubai, especially in terms of handling complex and complicated cases, has improved and evolved. Mandatory healthcare insurance, which has also increased in the Emirates, has helped in improving and stabilizing the healthcare sector here.
Your group is known for community service initiatives. Can your share few of your CSR projects which are close to your heart, especially about the “Zayed Giving Initiative”?
As a CEO, I have always believed in a vision: Business Profitability, Staff Wellness, Education and Training as well as Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR). My group members are very active in terms of corporate social responsibilities and together we have launched many campaigns, free checkup drives and awareness programmes for patients and the community as a whole. We actively participate in international events like Breast Cancer Day Campaigns, Diabetic Day, National Women’s Health and Fitness Day and many more, organised by the World Health Organization.
We also carry out campaigns and seminars on treatment of all kinds of diseases and we have also stationed mobile clinics serving patients of cardiology, internal medicine and pediatrics and OB Gynae specialty.
We have also extended out humanitarian services in other countries like Egypt, Kuwait, Somalia, Sudan, Abuja, Nigeria and other cities of Africa. We are also planning to send out teams to Rohingya, Myanmar. With the continuous success of our campaigns, we are working towards exploring different concepts and campaign year by year.
What are some of the peculiar ailments in the UAE and how equipped you are to treat them?
Recently, a peculiar ailment that affected many live in UAE and other countries was the MERS virus. During such time, following the guidelines of DHA, we train and educate healthcare personnel about how to spread awareness, prevent and control the virus. We also train them on how to implement Environmental Infection Control and Establish Reporting within Hospitals and Public Health Authorities in case of any suspected, probable or suspected cases.
We are also prepared in disaster recovery management, in case of any massive accident like that our hospital is prepared & can received big number of patients on the same time.
Your group is coming up with a Multi-Specialty hospital in Sharjah very soon, what all facilities will it offer to the residents of this Emirate?
Our new Hospital in Sharjah will open soon, soft opening is expected to be in end of December 2017. The multi-specialty hospital will continue to enhance our vision of bringing the best services of SGH across Emirates.
Saudi German Hospital Sharjah is equipped with 15 different medical department and subspecialty with 4 operating theatres with 24/7 facility, Emergency department with 24/7 facility and critical care area for adult and children, state-of-the-art cath-lab covering vascular, cerebral and cardiac intervention, 24 hrs pharmacy & radiology services available, oncology center and plastic surgery center.
Our goal is to always be active in the healthcare sector in Sharjah and to work together hand in hand with the government hospitals and ministry of health and health authorities to help in the improvement of healthcare services in Sharjah.
Can you please tell us about your expansion plans as the SGH Group vision is “To design, finance, construct and operate 30 world-class hospitals by 2018 and create 50,000 jobs in Healthcare industry?”
The vision of the group is to build and design 50 hospitals and create 50,000 jobs in Arab and Islamic world. So far, along with fully functional hospitals in Emirates, we are also constructing hospitals, which includes the subspecialty hospitals, in Dubai and Sharjah. The Ajman Healthcare City is under construction. Further we are looking for more expansion in GCC countries and other Emirate in UAE. Our goal is to make all healthcare services available at one location.
In terms of education, the Batterjee Medical College in Jeddah is one of the biggest private colleges in the Middle East. Plans to construct medical education In Dubai is underway.