Ms. Alice Yammine Boueiz

CEO of the Arab Hospitals Federation

“The forum will host various discussions focusing on leading Arab hospitals towards transformation, sustainability, digital health, innovation, and more…”

Leading Tomorrow’s Healthcare: Sustainability. Transformation. Collaboration, is the theme of the 24th Arab Hospitals Federation Annual Forum, which is taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on September 25-26, 2023. The forum is attended by an impressive array of Arab health ministers and Arab Healthcare leaders. In this regard, Hospitals Magazine interviewed Ms. Alice Yammine Boueiz, to talk about this important gathering.

Can you give us an overview of the 24th Arab Hospitals Federation Annual Forum MedHealth Abu Dhabi?

The Arab Hospitals Federation holds its 24th Arab Annual Forum  MedHealth Abu Dhabi on September 25-26, 2023, at the Conrad Abu Dhabi – Etihad Towers in the United Arab Emirates in strategic partnership the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, and in cooperation with the League of Arab States, the Arab Health Ministries, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, the Executive Office of the Arab Health Ministers Council, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Abu Dhabi Residents Office, AmCham Abu Dhabi, as well as various healthcare, medical, and nursing organizations and associations across Arab countries.

MedHealth Abu Dhabi receives vital support from key partners, including Q Holding Group as the main partner, Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar and Viatris as associate partners. Additionally, it benefits from contributions by renowned entities such as Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, HEAPS, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, NMC, Malaffi, Elegancia Healthcare-Qatar, and Abbott Laboratories with the Arab Hospital Magazine and Hospitals Magazine as Business Community Partners. 

What makes this forum very distinguished on the Arab healthcare landscape?

One of the forum’s unique features is the participation of six Arab Health Ministers representing the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, and Kuwait. 

These ministers will actively engage in the first, second, and third panel discussions, where they will present their ideas, discussions, and experiences on various topics centered around the concept of Health for All. 

Furthermore, the forum provides a platform for dialogue and interaction among all components of the Arab healthcare community, encouraging the exchange of experiences, information, and the discussion of challenges and how to address them. That is what this platform has witnessed over the past twenty-three editions, and we continue to pursue a reputable and more credible journey with a high level of professionalism to advance health in the Arab world.

What are the discussions that will take place at the forum and who will be discussing them?

Under the theme of “Leading tomorrow’s Healthcare: Sustainability. Transformation. Collaboration”, the forum will host various discussions focusing on leading Arab hospitals towards transformation, sustainability, digital health, innovation, and more. The discussions over the two days will be content-rich, featuring insights from decision-makers and leaders in the Arab healthcare sector. They will involve esteemed health ministers as well as brilliant global and Arab experts whose ideas, knowledge, and experiences will benefit the Arab healthcare sector and assist in leading Arab institutions towards change.

What about the opening ceremony and what does it include?

The opening ceremony will be attended by health ministers, heads of Arab health authorities, government officials, the League of Arab States, and key decision-makers in the healthcare sector from major institutions and global companies. It will include a video presentation showcasing the journey of the Arab Hospitals Federation, official speeches, the presentation of the federation’s annual awards, and the inauguration of the accompanying exhibition.

As you mentioned, and as we know, the Arab Hospitals Federation presents its annual awards. Who will receive them this year, and who are the healthcare personalities chosen?

Indeed, this is a special event that the Federation organizes each year to honor influential individuals and exceptional entities that have made significant efforts in advancing the Arab healthcare sector. I prefer to withhold the announcement of the names until the day of the event, but I can say that the awards include:

  • The Diamond Crown Award for Sustainable Health System.
  • Pioneer Award in improving Arab Health Investment 
  • Excellence Award in Patient Safety and Quality Performance
  • Excellence Award in Supporting the Health Tourism Sector 
  • Distinguished Award in Sustainable Development
  • Distinguished Gold Award for Health Readiness During the 2022 World Cup
  • Diamond Crown in Healthcare Leadership 
  • Excellence Award in Healthcare Leadership Empowerment Across Arab Countries
  • Highest Merit Medal in Arab Healthcare sector

Through the forum banners, there is a large group of partners and supporters for this event. Why were they interested in it?

This event has captured the interest of numerous partners from various sectors, including official, healthcare, pharmaceutical, media, and more. They have been interested in this event over the past years because it provides them with an opportunity to connect with decision-makers and stakeholders in the Arab healthcare sector. It allows for direct and open dialogue, especially considering that the forum hosts Arab delegations representing government and private hospital directors, doctors, administrators, and healthcare professionals from various countries. These countries include not only Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, but also international participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, India, and others.

You have organized this forum in different Arab countries, and today in Abu Dhabi. What have you found in Abu Dhabi, and why was it chosen as your destination?

The Arab Hospitals Federation chose Abu Dhabi as the destination for its annual forum to fulfill its primary goal of opening dialogue and bringing together decision-makers in the healthcare sector to share successful experiences with all Arab countries and explore promising opportunities for advancing healthcare. The healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi stands out as a leading sector in the Arab world, regionally and globally, known for its accessibility to medical services, quality and safety of care, financial and environmental sustainability of the healthcare system, and adoption of technology and innovations in healthcare. This is what truly motivated us to be there. Additionally, we received support from the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, that encouraged and collaborated with us, supporting us in organizing our events in Abu Dhabi. Here I would like to extend special thanks to them for their responsiveness and for all what they have done to ensure the success of this event.

Are there any specific partnerships you are aiming for at this forum?

Certainly, one of the primary goals of the Arab Hospitals Federation is to strengthen partnerships with all relevant stakeholders. During this conference, we will sign several agreements. However, I would like to highlight the partnership that was signed in Abu Dhabi on September 11 with Q Holding Group, the Main partner of the forum.

In a new step that reinforces the leading role of Q Holding Group, in paving the way towards sustainability and its constructive role in creating smart, green and sustainable communities that overcome the world’s biggest future challenge, climate change, the Federation signed a partnership agreement with the Group, striving to promote a culture of sustainability by advocating for green and sustainable facilities to safeguard human health.

This partnership aims to create a culture of sustainability and lead the transformation and change towards an environmentally sustainable healthcare system that improves and preserves the health of the community, in the presence of H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Mohamed Butti Al Hamed, Chairman of Q Holding Group.  We emphasized the spirit of true cooperation and shared responsibility to preserve the health of our communities and our environment and to address the greatest challenge we face, which is climate change.

Furthermore, during the forum, we will sign a cooperation agreement with Abu Dhabi Residents Office, which is part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development. This agreement aims to support the thriving community in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, enhance its status as a leading destination for top talent, and promote joint efforts to attract healthcare talents and encourage them to obtain the golden visa in the Emirate. This is a step that underscores our commitment to empowering Arab and international healthcare talents to achieve their aspirations to live and reside in Abu Dhabi on the long term, in addition to promoting medical tourism in the Emirate as a hub for healthcare services.

Additionally, we have a partnership with HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), which aims to promote the use of technology in healthcare to improve the quality and efficiency of the Arab healthcare system.

Regarding the Arab Hospitals Federation and its many activities, what are your latest activities and future plans?

Our activities at the Federation are numerous and diverse, and at the moment, we are focused on two important topics: digital health and healthcare sustainability. In September, the Federation will participate in Arab Health Day organized by the League of Arab States at its headquarters in Cairo under the theme “The Impact of Climate Change on Health.” I am honored to have been invited by the General Secretariat the League of Arab States to chair the second working session having the title of “The Healthcare Sector in the Face of Climate Change: Building Sustainability and Resilience.” The event will feature the participation of prominent figures, including His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, His Excellency Professor Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the Minister of Health and Population in the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chairman of the Executive Office of the Arab Health Ministers Council, His Excellency Professor Abdelhak Saihi, the Minister of Health, Population and Hospital Reform in Algeria, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the Regional Director of the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Mr. John Kerry.

Additionally, during the Abu Dhabi Forum, we will present the “Gold Initiative” certificate for the year 2023, which the Federation launched some time ago under the theme “The Arab Healthcare Digital Transformation Star.” After the success of the previous three editions of the “Gold Initiative” certificate launched in 2020 and 2021, which awarded certificates of appreciation to 19 winning institutions from 8 Arab countries for their efforts in facing and overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2022, 10 winning institutions were honored for their efforts in addressing the climate change challenge. The Federation expanded the scope of this initiative and launched the “Gold Initiative” certificate for digital transformation in healthcare in collaboration with HIMSS to honor the healthcare sector, leaders, and institutions committed to implementing innovation and technology, boosting investments, improving patient outcomes, increasing efficiency, reducing costs, enhancing access to care, advancing research, and leading the healthcare sector towards digital transformation.

Our activities are diverse, but our goal remains the same: to promote health in Arab countries and develop the Arab healthcare workforce to ensure a high-quality healthcare sector in the Arab world.

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