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Dr Mussaad Al-Razouki, Chief Executive Officer at Kleos Healthcare Corporation in Kuwait

Dr Mussaad Al-Razouki is the Chief Executive Officer at Kleos Healthcare Corporation, a Kuwaiti WLL that provides excellence in strategic planning and management for Middle East healthcare entities. Dr. Razouki has over 10 years experience in healthcare, shifting from a focus on excellence in clinical practice and research to the management and financing of healthcare systems. After his insightful presentation at the Hospital Build Exhibition back in June, we quizzed him on how he sees the future of health facilities and the potential of the Middle East healthcare sector.

Image © Kleos Healthcare Corporation

Q: What will hospitals of the future look like? A: It depends on how far into the future we are projecting. In the short to medium term, hospitals will need to spend increasing amounts of funds on developing robust HIT (or Health IT) systems including electronic health records, electronic prescriptions and mobile health solutions that will keep administrative costs down, reduce the chances of medical errors and encourage preventative methods of medicine respectively.

In the long-term, the concept of

hospitals as we have known them for the past few decades will most likely evolve into more focused specialty-care centers that excel within a particular modality of care e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease or oncology to name a few. The days of behemoth, 1,000 plus bed,

hospitals are limited and we at Kleos are currently working closely with several semi-public and private investment vehicles to invest in niche opportunities in specialized healthcare that will capitalize on this trend.

Q: Why should private investors and governments in the Middle East invest money into healthcare? A: The healthcare industry in the Middle East is currently underserved from both a demand and supply point of view. When talking about demand, we notice that Middle East populations are still growing aggressively at 3 to 5% CAGRs while the populations of the rest of the developed world (US and Europe primarily) are either stable or imploding. Furthermore, the populations of the Middle East are unfortunately also predisposed to chronic diseases which are expensive to maintain – over 60% of the populations of the majority of Middle Eastern countries are overweight, half of which are typically morbidly obese. Obesity as we all know, is a strong risk factor for diabetes type II, a costly disease to maintain which can cost governments around 500,000 USD per patient per year. The other side of the equation is the

supply side - the healthcare infrastructure in the majority of Middle East countries is underdeveloped. Whereas the US and most OECD countries enjoy bed per population ratios of around four bed per thousand (population), most Middle East countries barely have bed/000 ratios of above two. Using this rate as a proxy for the overall healthcare system, the Middle East can certainly afford to double its current healthcare infrastructure. However, intelligent investors will realize that healthcare opportunities exist beyond just building new hospitals and instead exist in more niche areas of specialized medicine

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