Sobhi Batterjee: Stability in the quicksand
Sobhi Batterjee, Chairman of Saudi German Hospitals, does not hide the truth of what he feels. In an interview with Arabian Business, he discussed the most important challenges facing the health sector and described the health sector as quicksand. Batterjee has 30 years of experience in this sector, so what does he mean by quicksand?
Sobhi Batterjee, Chairman of Saudi German Hospitals
The Chairman of SGH believes that the healthcare sector needs substantial investments and patience for its numerous contacts with the concerned parties in its various activities.He said “health is an important thing in society, so everyone today wants to enter and invest in this sector. Government dependence on the private sector today opens the way to attract capital in this vital sector. The problem of going into this field is that it is difficult, technical and complex and it needs a huge capital, so there are a few stakeholders who are already investing in the health sector. Those who do not have enough experience in this sector will not succeed and will be exhausted in their attempt to continue. Health sector is like quicksand, if the business size is larger, drowning will be faster for non-professionals. The challenges will also arise with the increase of legislation regulating this sector because of its association with human health and safety. It will be linked with some authorities such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Commerce, Civil Defense, CCHI and Saudi Commission for Health Specialties”.
Regarding the inquiries about the implications of the entry of insurance companies into this sector, Batterjee said “insurance companies have become a major player in healthcare and their practices sometimes depend on the success of hospitals or their exit from the market”.
He also said “insurance has raised demand in this sector because it has given opportunities to those who can’t afford the treatment to receive it, but at the same time it gave the insurance companies great influence to control the work of hospitals. Insurance companies are now able to impose price, cost and expense levels and thus sometimes cause bankruptcy of hospitals and dispensaries. They can control the prices because of purchasing power, so we are now seeing small investors in the health sector.