Healthcare investment

Due to the significant increase in healthcare investment across MENA, the region’s two largest healthcare shows – Arab Health and MEDLAB Exhibitions & Congresses – are being launched as two stand-alone events that will take place consecutively during January and February this year.

In 2016, Arab Health, the largest healthcare event in the Middle East, featured 4,187 exhibiting companies and will now showcase in excess of 4,400 companies at the 2017 event. MEDLAB, the world’s largest medical laboratory exhibition and congress hosted 589 leading exhibitors last year and will now welcome over 700 participating companies, from 38 countries demonstrating a truly international base of suppliers.

“The UAE alone is experiencing fast expansion in the medical device, healthcare IT and medical education fields. At Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, we aim to provide delegates, visitors and exhibitors a tailored experience for their specific areas of focus in a technological evolving scene,” said Simon Page, M a n a g i n g D i r e c t o r, I n f o r m a L i f e S c i e n c e s Exhibitions, Middle East.

M E D L A B a n d A r a b H e a l t h b r i n g t o g e t h e r stakeholders and experts from around the world to showcase the latest in healthcare technology and techniques. Separating Arab Health and MEDLAB gives attendees a deeper understanding of different areas of healthcare, and an opportunity to specifically hone in on areas that are of interest to them,” Simon Page continued.

The 42 edition of the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress 2017 takes place between 30th January and 2nd February 2017 with the exhibition expecting more than 120,000 healthcare and trade professionals attending from 70 countries. The Congress includes 14 conferences with international speakers on topics such as emergency medicine, oncology and workforce e m p o w e r m e n t . T h e c o n f e r e n c e s o f f e r C M E accreditation and will be attended by more than 8,000 delegates from around the globe.

The 16th edition of MEDLAB takes place from 6th – 9th February 2017 and is expecting to welcome over 30,000 laboratory and trade professionals from all continents. During the four-day event, 11 multidisciplinary conferences offer up to 28 CME credits that will be led by globally recognised speakers on t o p i c s i n c l u d i n g l a b o r a t o r y m a n a g e m e n t , microbiology, immunology and clinical chemistry. While incorporating new tracks specialising in blood transfusion medicine, laboratory informatics and updates in clinical diagnostics of cardiology and diabetes, enabling the correlation of roles between laboratory professionals and clinicians.

Addressing gaps in provision of emergency care

In 2014 alone, the emirate of Abu Dhabi saw more than 1.1 million emergency care cases[1] and, with the demand for emergency medicine projected to increase exponentially by 2035, six additional hospitals are to be added in the capital by 2020 to provide further capacity in emergency care. Analysis also shows that the projected demand for major trauma in Abu Dhabi is double that of major trauma rates in the UK and Australia, for example. However, Emergency Medicine (EM) in the UAE has come a long way in a short time. Compared to majority of Middle Eastern countries, the specialty is advancing rapidly in different dimensions including training programs and systems of care; but a few more steps need to be taken to reach the goal of world-class emergency care in the UAE.

Arab Health has announced the addition of two novel training tracks in emergency medicine and oncology to discuss the latest developments in emergency care p r e p a r e d n e s s a s w e l l a s t h e m o s t r e c e n t advancements in oncology treatment. For the first time, the congress will feature a three-day skills workshop by Médecins SansFrontières (MSF). Oncology will also be a key feature of the congress, bringing together local, regional and international oncology experts to discuss and present the latest advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. With the Middle East predicted to have the highest increase in cancer cases when compared to other regions, and an estimated 400,000 deaths as a result of cancer per year, knowledge in oncology treatment remains a key focus for the region. The oncology conference addresses this rising tide of cancer in the Middle East.

Improving patient care in the GCC

Recent findings indicate that limited superspecialised care in areas such as oncology and cardiology are driving outbound medical tourism in the GCC. In Dubai alone, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) spent AED 307 million towards overseas treatment for its citizens. Around 14 per cent of this expense was incurred on neurosurgery treatments, followed by 12 per cent on oncology treatments, 11 per cent on orthopaedics, and around 7 per cent on cardiology surgeries due to the existing gap in specialized care currently available in the country.

increased investment in specialised care in the region. A number of new, advanced medical handson- training courses, which will take place during the been added to train more than 900 healthcare specialists in advanced medical techniques and help bridge the current specialist skills gap in the region. The training will allow physicians, surgeons and technicians from the region to learn and practice new techniques utilising pioneering equipment. Training will focus on specialised treatments in cardiology, neurology, surger y, gastroenterology, urology, oncology, 3D medical printing, bariatric surgery, ultrasound, haematology, neonatal respiratory and radiology using state-of-the-art equipment. David Mezher, General Manager of GE Healthcare Middle East, strongly agrees that the upskilling of doctors should be a priority for the Middle East: “Providing local physicians with access to practical training in the latest innovation technologies is crucial. These hands-on-training sessions at Arab Health will ensure physicians from this region are equipped with the latest knowledge and tools to help enhance their skills and, ultimately, it will provide better outcomes for patients too.” Courses will be delivered by world-renowned experts from institutions including GE Healthcare, 3D Lifeprints, Alder Hey Hospital in the UK, SAH Global Hampton Proton Therapy Institute in the U.S.A., GSD University and Research Hospitals, Carestream, Houston Methodist, Emirates Urology Society, Nihon Kohden and Philips.