Earlier this year a contingent of Spire Hospital Directors and a group of nine consultants successfully flew the flag for leading UK hospital provider Spire Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates.
The visit was a culmination of several months’ development work to launch Spire International as a recognised hospital provider in international markets. The team was invited to meet The Overseas Treatment Committee of the Dubai Health Authority, as well as local hospital providers and fellow clinicians. Discussions took place around collaborating more closely to improve the healthcare of UAE residents, one aspect of which would be the provision of treatment at Spire’s UK hospital network for patients from the rapidly-growing UAE region.
The visit also included a lecture tour, delivered by consultants from Bushey, Southampton and Leeds hospitals, to doctors and medical staff at the Rashid Hospital in Dubai. Business Development Manager at Spire Leeds Hospital, Suzanne Wynne-Jones, has been involved with promoting Spire International. She says this is a great opportunity for Spire as market research indicates that UK-trained doctors in UK hospitals are the first choice for many patients across the world. It is estimated that, in 2009, around 300,000 people travelled from the UAE to the UK for hospital treatment.
“Spire International has been launched to help capitalise on this and to provide patients and their referrers with services, information and support to make their experience as smooth as possible,” she said. “We also have ambitions to become the first choice UK hospital group for referrers and patients abroad.”
To help promote Spire International, a dedicated website – www.spireinternational.co.uk – has been launched in both English and Arabic, and a dedicated Arabic language brochure has been published. Many hospitals are already receiving enquiries from patients, referrers and doctors abroad.
Spire hospitals are also working on a variety of opportunities, including establishing links with Spire consultants to set up out-patient clinics abroad and developing links with third party companies to facilitate referrals. Also, Spire International was the main sponsor of the 6th International Conference on Minimally-invasive Surgery at Al Noor Hospital in Abu Dhabi in March 2011. Twelve consultant lectures were delivered by Spire consultants on topics ranging from spinal surgery to pituitary and tumour surgery.