Bulletin

AN INTERVIEW WITH DR. FAWZI AL-HAMMOURI Chairman, Private Hospitals Association, Jordan The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization that was established in 1984, representing 58 private hospitals and medical centers in Jordan. The association's vision is to assist members in providing integrated high-quality healthcare services to their patients and building the hospitals’ capacity to become globally competitive. PHA represents the private hospitals in various councils including; High Health Council, Jordanian Medical Council, Jordanian Nursing Council, Health Care Accreditation Council, Royal Health Awareness Society, Jordanian Air Ambulance Center and recently the National Epidemiology Committee to manage COVID-19 crisis in Jordan. Since 2004, I've Chaired the Private Hospitals Association in Jordan, a significant improvement in the performance of the private hospitals was seen and this was awarded by achieving the "Best Practice" certificate twice and the "Seal of Excellence" by the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence. In addition, the award "Jordan as the best medical tourism destination for the year 2014". KEY CHALLENGES FOR SERVICE DELIVERY IN JORDAN High operating costs in the hospitals sector, raising the income tax, raising the sales tax on medical supplies, high electricity tariffs for hospitals. Also one of the main challenges is talents brain drain, which leads the private hospitals to increase their salaries. In addition, the economic situation is currently not stable in Jordan. ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR SERVICE DELIVERY The Jordanian medical reputation excelled since the 1970s, it was the first in the MENA region to conduct open-heart surgery, kidney transplant, stem cell transplant, and many more. Jordan is distinguished by the availability of highly qualified Jordanian healthcare providers and hospitals are equipped with the latest medical equipment and technology. Moreover, private hospitals exceed 60% of the total number of hospitals in Jordan. Jordan was awarded as the “Best Medical Tourism Destination” as it boasts significant expertise in a variety of medical specialties such as oncology, cardiac surgery, acute care, orthopedic, cosmetic surgery, psychiatry to name a few. KEY CHALLENGES IN HEALTHCARE ON THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the suspension of work in the private hospital sector and its limitation to receiving emergency cases due to the curfew imposed in the country for more than two months, in addition to the complete cessation of medical tourism as a result of the suspension of air traffic and the closure of border crossings. All those factors threatened the survival of some of the private hospitals.
  • The unstable political situation and the change in governments in the neighboring countries decrease the number of patients coming to Jordan for treatment.
  • Jordan is a safe haven for all the neighboring countries, the population has increased rapidly in the last few years due to the Syrian refugees and other nationalities who settled in Jordan. This has increased the burden on the healthcare system.
  • Closing down opportunities for Jordanian doctors to obtain higher specialization in Western countries.
  KEY PERSPECTIVES IN HEALTHCARE AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL Over the years, Jordan has emerged as one of the most desirable destinations in the region for medical tourism, and it is rapidly developing an international reputation for high quality and affordable healthcare. With around 250,000 patients visiting Jordan annually for treatment from around the world, and over one billion US dollars in revenue annually. Jordanian hospitals invested heavily in modern technology, with the latest MRI, CT-Scan, nuclear imaging and IVF. EVOLUTION OF THE IHF IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS The IHF will strengthen its position globally with new members joining. It will continue in supporting and improving the industry by taking into consideration the healthcare industry evolvement by; the increase in the use of artificial intelligence, big data, the internet of things, and robotics. In addition, patients are becoming more aware and demanding due to the availability of information through the wide use of the internet and social media channels and so the IHF should strengthen its online presence. EXPECTATIONS FROM AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE IHF Jordan has become a member of the IHF through the full membership of The Private Hospitals Association in cooperation with the Health Care Accreditation Council (HCAC) and in coordination with all healthcare sectors in Jordan, including private, government, military and university hospitals. IHF members will benefit from each other through knowledge and experience exchange, also through training opportunities provided by IHF. PHA will benefit from the main activities of the federation and its contribution to improving health around the world, improving the performance of healthcare institutions by supporting initiatives to improve their responsiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, equitable accessibility and quality of care and the development of effective health care management. PHA will be able to cooperate and exchange ideas, experiences and information with the global community of healthcare organizations and management professionals to know where they succeeded and where they failed and to contribute to shaping the future of healthcare in the world. JORDAN AS A HEALTHCARE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN THE MENA REGION