Effective use of technology may help solve UAE healthcare worker shortage
DUBAI- In order to tackle the UAE’s increasing demand for healthcare workers and insufficient supply of medical talent, we can no longer just rely on employing more and more people. Experts are suggesting that healthcare facilities in the UAE utilize technology to benefit further from the preexisting talent pool instead of sourcing new talent that may not necessarily be cost effective or qualified. Utilizing technology in healthcare entails more than just the use of robots, applications, and teleconferencing; it necessitates the realignment of who practices what role and how.
Speaking at the Hospitals of the Future Conference during the Hospital Build & Infrastructure Middle East Exhibition & Congress from 2-4 June 2014 in Dubai, UAE, Brian de Francesca, Chief Executive Officer, Ver2, Dubai, UAE, will discuss the efficiency and effectiveness of using technology to address the critical and chronic shortage of qualified healthcare workers across in the UAE, and changing processes, incentives, and KPIs in order to make the most out of available technology.
According to Mr. de Francesca: “Simply saying: ‘There is a healthcare worker shortage’, does not completely or accurately describe the serious regional challenges we face. There is a global healthcare worker shortage, and, in this region of rapidly increasing demand for healthcare workers combined with the lack of domestic production of healthcare workers, the worker shortage is currently at a crisis level and may very well get worse. But the problem is not only in the absolute volume shortage, there are concerns over worker quality and productivity as well.”
Technology allows us to share brains at a distance. This encompasses remote stroke assessments, continuing medical education, reporting on x-ray films and pathology samples, and so much more. This can both increase the utilization of local healthcare workers and also ensure access to high quality sub-specialty expertise from outside of the region.
“It is important to note that technology does not exist to replace or dehumanize or desensitize the doctor-patient relationship, on the contrary, it seeks to develop a more personal, efficient, and precise approach. It is meant to allow good doctors to practice more of what they excel at and provide more personal and precise care,” says Mr de Francesca.
“Care models in the UAE today rely primarily on highly trained and costly health professionals that become scarce,” says Dr Panco Georgiev, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Abu Dhabi, UAE, who will also be speaking at the conference. “The skill-mix can be radically shifted towards technology solutions and lower skill employees while offering extraordinary quality of care. The adoption of technology by hospitals is still patchy and far behind other industries. Technology will become a key enabler of above three trends as illustrated by examples of leading innovators.”