With a growing population and huge influx of tourists and pilgrims expected in the upcoming years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is seeing collaborative progress in the fields of healthcare innovation and technology advancement, as well as medical research & development (R&D).
Studies in recent times have suggested that the population of KSA is expected to reach 77.2 million by 2050, doubling from 32.6 million in 2018. Providing adequate healthcare facilities to this rapidly growing population will require an additional 5,000 beds by 2020 and 20,000 beds by 2035, based on the current density of beds, according to industry reports. So will be the need for medical services such as diagnostics centres and clinical laboratories, and blood banks etc.
Diagnostic and radiology services either delivered through standalone laboratories or hospitals, play a vital role in efficient healthcare by spotting health problems and informing medical interventions. Government of KSA realising the importance of these services in providing comprehensive healthcare has increased its budget allocation to the sector to around 8% SAR172 billion in 2019. It is also encouraging private sector participation in the sector, as highlighted in the National Transformation Plan (NTP) and the privatization plan.
Experts foresee a significant upward trend for the laboratory and diagnostic industry in the next three to four years as health systems move from treatment to prevention, and from volume to value model. A number of challenges including, growing price and volume pressure, rising cost base, efficient management of laboratories and blood banks, as well as technology adoption are recognised as challenges faced by the industry in the region.
In light of these developments in the Kingdom, the Saudi Laboratory and Diagnostics Congress 2019 will gather experts in the field of clinical laboratory and diagnostics to discuss latest advancements and international guidelines regarding key issues in the sector, automation and technology, efficiency and quality, patient safety and much more.
Prof. Khalid Al Harbi, Chairman of the conference and the Saudi Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (SSCLS) underlining the importance of the conference said, “The Saudi Laboratory and Diagnostics Congress is a prominent event dedicated to increase awareness and education for the Lab Community in the kingdom as well as provide an update on the latest technologies and methods in the industry as per the kingdom 2030 vision. The three-day event will host speakers from Kingdom’s esteemed organisations including Ministry of Health, governmental and military hospitals in the Kingdom. and international experts to discuss developments in clinical chemistry, Microbiology, Hematology and Genetic diseases as well as the latest updates on laboratory technology to promote an efficient industry growth for the future.”
Speakers from MOH, National Gard, large Government and private hospitals will share their expertise with the audience at specialised workshops in several areas, he added.
The Saudi Laboratory and Diagnostics Congress 2019 is happening on 13 – 15 October at the Le Meridian, Jeddah. The event will see the Saudi Society for Clinical Laboratories and Saudi Society for Clinical Chemistry as strategic partners and will be sponsored by leading organisations, such as AMPC, Salehiya Trading Company, and Neuberg Diagnostics.
The organisers of the event Maarefah Management, through its various strategic initiatives and events, aims to explore opportunities to nurture an integrated ecosystem where all the healthcare stakeholders can grow and thrive collectively.
“The diagnostics sector has a great opportunity to place itself at the centre of healthcare delivery, by discussing how to overcome the key challenges, and sharing best practice between countries, diagnostics sector will be able to bring in significant improvements to the healthcare sector as a whole.” Mr Waleed Rafaay, COO of Maarefah Management, which is organising the Congress.