Egypt to establish pharmaceutical plant in Chad
“We already have drug factories in Africa in Khartoum and Addis Ababa. Through our meetings and cooperation with African health ministers, we are helping to build these factories. A factory affiliated to the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals is being set up in Chad,” Zayed said at the meeting of the African Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives on Tuesday to discuss the ministry’s plan in Africa.
She explained that her meetings with the African ministers of health agreed to work on standardizing the registration of Egyptian medicine in the countries of the Nile Basin and East Africa due to cheap prices and effectiveness. Sudan and Ethiopia agreed in principle, she added.
The standardization of registration means making Egyptian medicine in those countries available and saving the time (two years) and financial costs of the registration of medicine in those countries, Zayed said.
Zayed also revealed an Egyptian initiative to treat African nationals for the hepatitis C virus, starting with the Nile Basin countries where patients are estimated at 3.7 million people, equal to 30 percent of the number of infected people in Africa.
She added Egypt currently sends doctors from the public and private sectors to the Nile Basin countries to treat patients.
This initiative will also be an opportunity to spread Egyptian medicine and open markets for the pharmaceutical sector. This is an opportunity to export pharmaceutical medicine in Africa and an opportunity to treat one million people infected with HIV in the Nile Basin countries, said Zayed.
Head of the African Affairs Committee MP Tarek Radwan called for strengthening the Egyptian role by organizing campaigns to finance the provision and shipping of medicine to African countries.
Zayed said that the cost of the treatment dose of the virus outside Egypt is between $28,000 to $80,000 per patient. In Cairo, treatment per patient costs between $50 to $120.
She explained the difficulty of conducting a survey within these countries, such as in Ethiopia, which has 120 million people, adding that Egypt treats those diagnosed with hepatitis C, estimated at about 600,000 cases.
Egypt discusses cooperation with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi
Egypt discussed cooperation with French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi on the sidelines of French President’s Emmanuel Macron’s first visit to the country.
According to a statement by the Egyptian public enterprises ministry, Minister Hisham Tawfik met on Tuesday with representatives from the French company, where he expressed his ministry’s aspiration to cooperate with global pharmaceutical companies and benefit from their expertise.
Tawfik presented the ministry’s plan to reconstruct and develop affiliated Egyptian pharmaceutical companies through a number of measures, including rehabilitating factories to conform with the needs of global production requisites.
The talks also included the possibility of cooperation between the two sides to expand to African markets, especially in light of current steps to export medical preparations from Egypt’s Holdi Pharma to Chad and five other neighboring countries ahead of establishing a factory in Chad.
The human caravan increases, millions of Americans flood into Mexico for better health care services
At just one check point in Yuma-Arizona, up to 6,000 Americans cross the border every day and enter the bustling Mexican town of Los Algodones, seeking health care services.
Unlike the Trump administration that seeks to build a wall between both countries, Los Algodones welcomes Americans seeking medical and/or dental care with open arms. Figures from the last Mexico´s economic census, in Los Algodones municipality there are more dentists per capita than anywhere else in the world.
On the other hand, according to the Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR for its acronym in Spanish), Yucatan received more than 2.2 million tourists in 2018, out of those around 700,000 went to Merida City looking for affordable healthcare.
Mexico with places like Los Algodones or the southern city of Mérida, a fast-growing municipality and one of Mexico´s safest cities and most technologically advanced places, have quickly become a major source of relief for those seeking better and cheaper medical services.
Thailand Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) invests in health care
To further establish a foothold in the health care market, Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) has launched Thonburi Bamrungmuang Hospital, a Bt4-billion investment that it said will become a specialised health care centre with a six-star standard of personalised care, equipped with a team of experienced specialists and a comprehensive array of medical technology.
The group’s said its latest medical centre will not only address the rise of health consciousness and ageing society but also cater to medical tourists, which in turn supports the government’s policy of establishing Thailand as a medical hub.
Dr Boon Vanasin, chairman of the Board of Thonburi Healthcare Group Public Company Limited, a hospital and health care business operator, stated that the current health care and wellness trends see more demand in comprehensive health care centres as consumers are seeking service quality, speed, medical care and consultation by specialists, as well as a comprehensive range of advanced medical technology. Furthermore, the health care market has also been growing constantly, thanks to Thailand’s transition into an ageing society, which has translated into greater medical and health care and a surge in international medical tourists, he said.
“Another factor responsible for the growth of Thailand’s health care industry is the government’s policy implemented in 2016, which aims to launch Thailand as an international medical hub within 10 years or by 2025. Together, these factors present an excellent opportunity for business expansion for THG, a company with over 40 years of experience in hospital and health care centre management. The company operates hospitals in Bangkok and other provinces, delivers hospital management services, provides holistic health care, as well as runs medical equipment companies and other supporting businesses.”
THG recently launched the hospital on Bamrungmuang Road, the Thonburi Bamrungmuang Hospital.
Regarding the management strategies and directions of the hospital, Dr Aimon Kopera, chief medical officer at Thonburi Bamrungmuang, said the hospital aims to branch out towards growing international customers from China and CLMV, where insufficient medical services have created unmet demand. The hospital will feature a digital dental centre offering a one-day service.
The hospital has projected to attract 75,000 visitors in the first year, consisting of 40 per cent Thai customers and 60 per cent international customers, and earn Bt1.2 billion in 2019.
Thailand Bumrungrad Hospital sees future in on-demand telemedicine
David Boucher, Bumrungrad Hospital's new chief transformation officer, wants to make a visit to the doctor more like hailing a Grab car.
In his seven months at the hospital, which prides itself on medical tourism, he has pushed the organization to expand into telemedicine through a mobile app.
The app will be launched in the next two months, allowing patients to visit with doctors via video chat, get a diagnosis for some ailments, buy medication through an online store and schedule hospital visits.
"To be honest, it takes too long to get patients scheduled," Mr Boucher said. "But with the app we can change that from months to days."
He said the hospital plans to eventually have two or three doctors working exclusively on telemedicine at Bumrungrad.
The telemedicine strategy fits into Bumrungrad's long-term effort to cement the organization as a top-of-mind brand in medical tourism.
Thailand has made itself a global hub in the medical industry, at first through low costs when the baht was weakest after the 1997 financial crisis, but it has also developed over the years to include world-class quality.
The sector brings in an estimated $US600 million a year, with Bumrungrad accounting for 14% of the market (the highest share of any hospital), according to a report by the International Medical Travel Journal.
Mr Boucher first heard of Bumrungrad in 2006 when working for a medical tourism firm in the US, and even came to the hospital in 2008 to get a colonoscopy. He had his eye on working at the hospital for quite some time.
"It's been on my bucket list that at some point in my life my name would be on a Bumrungrad badge," Mr Boucher said. "Every day at work I am humbled when I look down and see the badge."
In his new role he wants to make Bumrungrad the leader in telemedicine services in the country, but even as "chief transformation officer" he doesn't want to change the strategic course of the hospital too much.
"There's so much good going on here, the last thing I want to do is break it," he said. "In America telemedicine is everywhere, but it's only just beginning in Thailand. The country has such a good broadband connection that it will lend itself well to the service."
Mr Boucher wants to see Bumrungrad improve its position as one of the leading "smart hospitals" in Thailand. Already a robot pharmacist is installed to reduce human error when delivering medication, and the hospital owns several precision surgical robots.
But all this automation has not resulted in a reduction in staff size, Mr Boucher said. The hospital employs about 1,500 doctors, and it still needs pharmacists to double-check the actions made by robots and explain the medication to the patient.
"The intent of robotics is not to replace the doctors," he said. "However, it does reduce the workload and reduce errors by pharmacists, who have to deal with over 3,000 different medications, meaning lots of chances of error."
Mr Boucher said the hospital has no plans to expand abroad. It has a clinic in Myanmar, where the largest portion of foreign patients come from, and has partnered with a hospital in Mongolia.