Deborah Kobewka, Managing Director of Healthcare UK, commented:
There is such a broad range of opportunities overseas for our healthcare sector. The Health and Care Innovation Expo provided Healthcare UK with an exceptional forum to meet with NHS providers to showcase these and highlight the support which is available to get organisations started on their exporting journey.
Specialists from Healthcare UK and the Department for International Trade shared their expertise in the healthcare sector in China, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.
Healthcare UK welcomed special guest Dr Sebastian Garcia-Saiso, General Director for Quality of Health Care and Education in Mexico’s Ministry of Health. Dr Garcia-Saiso gave an overview of the opportunities and challenges within the Mexican health system.
Support for UK healthcare organisations
Healthcare UK’s programme highlighted the support available to UK organisations seeking to develop overseas revenue streams, as well as celebrating the successes of those already engaged in international commercial partnerships.
Deborah Kobewka delivered a dedicated session on Healthcare UK’s role. Kevin Ledwith of UK Export Finance also hosted a seminar on the financial support mechanisms available to UK organisations to help them do more business overseas.
The UK International Healthcare Management Association (UKIHMA) was represented by Ken Grant of Mott Macdonald, a founder member of the association, and several of the Association’s NHS members. These included Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Mr Grant explained the way in which the members of the association work together to respond to overseas projects. He also commented on how partnership can be critical in providing members with more ways to get involved in opportunities, as well as presenting a more compelling offer to overseas partners.
Andrew Smith, of the Global Economic Issues Department at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) described the FCO’s Prosperity Fund programme. This has a major healthcare strand and offers UK healthcare organisations yet another way to get involved in international activity.
Perspectives on working internationally
The broad seminar programme involved a range of British speakers who gave their perspective on developing international activities in their organisations.
Mersey Care’s Chief Executive Dr Joe Rafferty and Dr Yasir Abbasi, the Clinical Lead for the Mersey Care Global Initiative Programme, shared their experience of establishing this programme and their progress so far in China, the UAE and Somalia.
Ahsan Ali, of the Ashmore Group, an investment organisation, discussed their approach to working as a partner with NHS organisations in overseas projects, in the Middle East and beyond.
The Department of Health, NHS Improvement and Healthcare UK hosted a panel discussion looking at commercial income generation opportunities for the NHS, both at home and abroad. Perspectives on commercial income generation were given by a district general hospital trust, a specialist trust and a large teaching trust:
Simon Dennis, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, highlighted their range of UK commercial projects, including an award winning skin care cream, and how significant results can be achieved with only limited resource
Iain Hennessey, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, highlighted the commercial advantages of investing in innovation and innovative partnerships
Victoria Cheston, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, highlighted the opportunities around intellectual property and spin outs as a commercial model
Discussions with senior healthcare decision makers
UK healthcare providers had the unique opportunity to have one to one meetings with delegates from China, Hong Kong, UAE and Mexico. These were productive meetings, forming the start of promising relationships and identifying concrete opportunities for commercial partnerships.
The success of this programme was underlined by the delegation which decided to extend their stay in Manchester to make an additional visit to an NHS organisation they met during the Expo, to continue discussions.
Enhancing the NHS through international engagement gives guidance on getting started on your international strategy.
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Hold the date for next year’s Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester on 11 and 12 September 2017.