Spending on health care to increase
The Kuwaiti Government has initiated a far-reaching plan to
reform and redevelop its public healthcare infrastructure
with the building of a number of new hospitals across the
country, and the implementation of a system to finance
public healthcare. In the next year alone, the Ministry of
Health will spend more than US$3 billion on the new projects,
and you can bone up on the scope and structure of the
plan on page 68.
It has been more than a decade – and only the second time
in the history of the United Nations – that a global health
issue has been placed on the agenda of the General Assembly.
In September, this august body met to discuss the vital issue of
non-communicable diseases. That the topic was discussed, and a declaration
agreed at this
level, are clear signs of the importance world leaders are placing on reducing
the burden to
society and the negative economic impact of cardiovascular disease, cancers and
However, whether calls for global collaboration and other initiatives to combat NCDs will
actually make much of an impact remains to be seen. Read the report from the
meeting on page 32, and let us know what you think.
Another far-reaching topic covered in this issue is how telemedicine is
important in clinical medicine, with major benefits for both physicians and
example, it is enhancing equity of access to healthcare by linking remote
to specialist centres, so that patients in outlying areas can have easier and
access to specialist consultation and care. It is also being used more
frequently in medical
education to enable students and doctors to “virtually” attend surgeries,
and share information. Telemedicine will certainly be a hot topic at the Arab
Health expo in January, and you can see our report inside on page 46.
Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and the healthcare sector is no small part
this. Middle East Health provides an overview of the country’s healthcare
the ‘Made in Germany’ brand, and notes that even though the industry is doing
these difficult economic times, the demand for German products is expected to
even further in the near future.
Some interesting regional developments have made the news recently. Pfizer
announced they will build a large pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Saudi
a great vote of confidence in the Kingdom. There will soon be a new head of
Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, as Dr Alaa Alwan from Iraq is set to take
from Dr Hussein Gezairy once the WHO Executive Board endorses the change at a
meeting in January. Stories from troubled Sana’a say that the city’s hospitals
to cope with the escalating number of victims of the violence against protesters
supporting the popular uprising. And, in a new report, the WHO is calling on
to increase their resources for mental health care, saying that while as many as
four people will require mental health care, often only 2% of healthcare
used for such services.
Good health and good reading
Supplement - "North American Hospitals"
(PDF 3.3 MB)