Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Health
Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf
Our priority is to develop a sustainable healthcare model that delivers good quality care for many years to come
Al-Futtaim Health strives to redefine the healthcare experience by delivering high-quality, smart and integrated care. It brings specialized care to residents across the country. “Hospitals” magazine had the honor to meet with Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Health to talk about how Al-Futtaim Group decided to get into the healthcare sector, the HealthHub and its added value for the healthcare sector, among other things. Below is the full interview:
You have been recognized as one of the most important leaders in healthcare, can you tell us more about yourself?
I graduated as a specialist family physician (Scotland UK), and around 2006 I moved into management. The executive council asked me to establish an organization called Takamul that basically focuses on people with special needs; it was considered first of its kind in the region. After the successful completion, my next project was to set up the Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai. My responsibilities included the completion and implementation of its first stage. From there I moved to Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in 2008 where I led the restructuring of the health insurance system law for Dubai. In 2018, I moved to Al- Futtaim Group to set up the healthcare division infrastructure.
How did Al-Futtaim Group decide to get into the healthcare sector?
Al-Futtaim Group always wanted to get into the healthcare sector, they were just waiting for the right time and the best place to start.
As a regulator, and looking at the overall market situation, we realized that in 2013 the health insurance market in Dubai was 2.5 billion per year and by 2017, it reached 11 billion per year.
We could see that the main gap in the market was affordable good quality healthcare. In the market, you have players who provide very expensive healthcare services, without proper measurements of quality and you have other players who provide low cost healthcare services but with questionable quality.
The market requires a player that has absolutely no compromise on quality with very reasonable prices. We are focusing on delivering good quality healthcare that is sustainable and affordable to people.
What is the HealthHub and its added value for the healthcare sector in the UAE? What are the specialties you offer?
The smart HealthHub is a chain of affordable clinics that accept all categories of health insurance and at the same time are affordable to visitors who are not covered by insurance. We have launched a number of specialized clinics to offer the latest technology-driven, affordable healthcare in Dubai. The clinics specialize in Cardiology, Dentistry, Dermatology, ENT, Endocrinology, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedics and Pediatrics, Physiotherapy and laboratory services.
We are now expanding into HealthHub pharmacies and hospitals that are now under construction and will be completed by 2021.
The idea behind it is to build a world-class healthcare system that reaches out to the patients and provide them with a unique experience at an affordable cost.
What is your future vision for Al-Futtaim Healthcare?
Our future vision is to be one of the top five healthcare providers in the Middle East; Al-Futtaim Group is one of the largest groups in the region, and we operate in almost 30 countries and ultimately each of these countries is a potential destination for us.
We want to be able to deliver good quality healthcare to all these countries in a way that responds to the uniqueness of their population. Our plans must be tailored to the needs of each country.
How do you evaluate the UAE government’s effort in investing in the healthcare industry? What is your role in supporting the UAE Vision?
I believe that the healthcare sector in the UAE has come a long way, and the government initiatives have led to a remarkable growth in the industry.
The healthcare industry cannot be the sole responsibility of the government; the private sector must play a role in partnering with the government to provide better healthcare services in the country.
Therefore, Al-Futtaim decided to take part in this responsibility in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan and Vision in making the health sector one of the best in the world. Our priority is to develop a sustainable healthcare model that delivers good quality care for many years to come. We believe that projects like ours will contribute to putting the UAE on the map as a medical tourism hub in the region.