A commitment to medical services TEY_post_Paolo_Abbate

Consulting services which include healthcare security in the design of new projects have a lot of potential.


Best-in-class health solutions

May 1, 2023

Paolo Abbate, general manager of International SOS Al Rushaid, talks to The Energy Year about key opportunities for the company's medical services in Saudi Arabia and how its value proposition differs from the competition’s. A JV between International SOS and Al Rushaid Group, International SOS Al Rushaid provides integrated medical services to clients in Saudi Arabia, onshore and offshore.

What key business segments is the company looking to tackle?
International SOS Al Rushaid is dedicated to delivering high-quality medical care to our clients. We continuously strive to improve our services by enhancing our clinics, medical provider network and assistance platform.
Since the creation of the JV in 2018 in Khobar between International SOS, a global leader in delivering customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions, and Al Rushaid Group, a leading Saudi-owned company, we have been working with clients from various industries.
Through this unique partnership, we aim to continue to grow and expand the provision of integrated services and medical solutions to multiple industries in Saudi Arabia, onshore and offshore – for example, the energy sector, aviation, mining and government entities.

How is International SOS Al Rushaid’s value proposition different from that of its competition?
To effectively assess the risks of diverse environments, local expertise and experience are essential. When this is complemented by solid infrastructure on both the local and global levels, it provides for additional differentiation. Recognising the interdependence of medical and security concerns, we support companies operating in Saudi Arabia by developing comprehensive policies and procedures that integrate both aspects to achieve their objectives.
We hold ISO 9001:2015 certification in all our business lines such as assistance centres, remote medical sites, clinics, medsupply, health care services and security services on a global level.
Most importantly, we work very closely with our clients. We know that they value what we do, and they understand how important quality of service is to us. Saudi Arabia is a large market, and some of the biggest projects worldwide are happening here. These projects are following the latest standards and practices, and we at International SOS Al Rushaid are very proud of the fact that we live up to these high standards. For example, anyone who has witnessed a medical evacuation operation knows that it is not an easy task. Our international footprint ensures that we provide a premier service anywhere in the world, and our clients recognise this.

What are the main values each partner adds to this joint venture?
International SOS is committed to its core values of passion, expertise, respect and care. It is not only bringing over 35 years of international medical leadership experience to Saudi Arabia, it is upholding these values here and striving to make a positive contribution.
Worldwide, International SOS is trusted by 9,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500, as well as mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 5,400 medical professionals work for International SOS, including highly trained doctors, medics, nurses, pharmacists, radiographers and laboratory technologists. International SOS has 26 assistance centres with 81 worldwide offices and manages 53 clinics around the globe.
Al Rushaid Group has been well known for bringing in worldwide industry leaders and exchanging expertise to enrich Saudi young talents and professionals. The group has multiple business lines and JVs upholding the values of excellence and innovation.
Formed in 1978, Al Rushaid Group is a leading Saudi company principally involved in manufacturing, construction, engineering, trading, real estate and technology. In addition, the group is the pioneer of setting up JVs with the most renowned international oil and gas companies.
Together, the JV uses Al Rushaid’s reach, local know-how and access to different entities and combines it with International SOS’ global medical expertise to offer our clients in Saudi Arabia the best medical services, which they deserve.


What kind of services does the company provide for giga-projects in the construction phase?
We believe in making it easier for organisations to work and grow on an international scale. We help those working on giga-projects achieve their goals by supporting their employees while they are in unfamiliar and remote locations. We offer the training and advice they need to stay safe and secure. We also provide risk management solutions to help keep them healthy and productive, so the administration can focus on their core business activities.
Some of our services for giga-projects in the construction phase include supporting business continuity by providing timely and quality medical care to employees, increasing their productivity and reducing lost time, assisting in complying with regulations for health and safety, offering best practices on health agendas regarding on-site medical care and contributing to the enhancement of HSE performance through a stringent injury and illness case management methodology and support system.
The JV develops infrastructure and sets up remote clinics to enable our clients to provide their workforce with duty of care in a remote environment. It involves the provision of high-standard routine and emergency medical care right on the spot and, when needed, an evacuation to the nearest hospital for an upgrade of care.

How will the company adapt its business model once the construction of these projects is complete?
International SOS Al Rushaid has established itself as a well-respected member of the local business and medical communities. We look forward to continuing to deliver solutions to meet the health, safety and security needs of our current and future clients in this fast-growing market.
As Saudi Arabia presents a very international business environment, it hosts many foreign assignees, with or without families. We at International SOS Al Rushaid have a unique advantage of on-the-ground experience in navigating healthcare and assistance needs of clients when in Saudi Arabia and overseas.
Construction projects have different business models – for example, design-build-operate, where a temporary clinic is built and operated by us, a service that is offered due to Al Rushaid’s know-how in terms of construction and International SOS’ expertise. Another example is an operate-only model where the temporary clinics are provided by the customer, and we operate them.
We believe that Saudi Arabia will continue to grow and invest in new projects and technologies, and we will always be ready to support such projects.

What potential do you see in expanding healthcare consulting services?
Consulting services which include healthcare security in the design of new projects have a lot of potential. During the construction phase, companies are now proactively seeking healthcare consultancy to ensure their projects and facilities are HSE- and Ministry of Health-compliant. Strong consultancy solutions and early engagement help to transfer the right knowledge to clients at the right time, thus creating an improved relationship for future opportunities.

What are the company’s efforts in terms of localisation and Saudisation?
We have achieved a platinum level in terms of localisation, where 43% of our talented workforce are from Saudi Arabia. We are also incredibly proud of supporting gender diversity within our organisation, having more and more female staff joining our teams. Offering our high-quality healthcare services to some of the giga-projects in Saudi Arabia, along with bringing worldwide industry leaders and exchanging expertise to enrich Saudi young talents and professionals is a step towards achieving Vision 2030.
Our commitment to the local communities does not stop at offering our core services as a B2B medical services provider. We continue expanding our offerings in the region by opening new medical centres providing the highest quality of service and care to the general public.
In addition to our Burj Al Shifa Medical Complex in Dammam, we have just recently opened the new International SOS Medical Complex in Al Khobar, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained medical professionals, meant to provide not only the best medical service to the community but also to make a statement about our commitment to the country.
We offer dentistry, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, orthopaedics and ophthalmology. The facility also features a 24/7 emergency care department, a fully equipped emergency room, advanced life support ambulance services and one of the largest medical laboratories to be hosted in a medical complex in the region.
We want people to understand that we are very serious about our footprint in Saudi Arabia, and they can rely on us.

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