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15 December 2019
The African Report - GSD Healthcare Middle East President Kamel Ghribi on Improving Healthcare in Africa

GK INVESTMENT HOLDING GROUP Chairman and Founder Kamel Ghribi, a Tunisian business leader based in Switzerland, has always firmly believed that the business world has a duty to help strengthen national institutions through strategic investments in sectors that provide support and services to the population.

He is President of GK Investment Holding group; Vice Chairman of the Board of Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato (GSD) Italy’s largest private health care organisation and President of Dubai based GSD Healthcare Middle East. GSD operates in partnership in several countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Having spotted an opportunity a few years back to invest in GSD – Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato, Italy’s leading private healthcare group, Kamel Ghribi made it his mission to address the shortcomings that he sees in current thinking when approaching public health projects not only in Europe but also Africa and the MENA region.

That is to say, long-term sustainability is too often sacrificed due to flawed fundamentals, aging systems, and a lack of connected support. Specifically, in the African continent, outdated post-colonial models as well as inadequate infrastructures have resulted in Africa’s best and brightest medical students being sent abroad for training. This reality ultimately leaches the continent’s human resources as inevitably students generally end up staying at European and American hospitals, where good salaries and world-class facilities beat the frustrations of ill-equipped facilities and unstable environments.

Furthermore, many nations do not have the medical structures available to cure many treatable diseases, consequently, thousands of patients cannot seek treatment in their home country while those who are in a position to do so will seek treatment solutions in developed nations offering private healthcare.

Kamel Ghribi, in his role as Vice President of GSD and President of GSD Healthcare Middle East, has helped to create a robust portfolio of international medical partnerships across Africa. He was key in the creation of a collaborative health and hospital contract that saw new facilities and programmes being planned for Mozambique, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon. In July 2019, he signed a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellbeing.

Kamel Ghribi has often stated how he finds it tragically ironic that on the one hand, we insist on the identity of Africa as 54 independent nations, while on the other, we search for unified policy applications for the entire continent. His experience has shown him that the range in lack of basic needs is far too broad for policy makers to impose standard fixes. What is needed is an overarching political and philosophical statement of values and a nation-by-nation action plan for coordinated national health planning that is supported by international private-sector health management contracts.

He has pledged to provide on-site training, infrastructure reinforcement and cross-discipline care in cardiology, paediatric medicine, and urology by giving in situ universities and hospitals access to, and the full support of, the GSD European network of hospitals through collaboration projects.

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Kamel Ghribi has pushed hard and seen much invested in the development of regional training centres, both financially and through the exchange of expertise and skills in areas of greatest need.

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GSD wants to see the available local talent be used as leverage in public-private-partnerships and share competencies to manage African hospitals in contracts that include the management training with local companies ready to assume the long-term task.

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To conclude, he feels that well connected, appropriately scaled medical centres and clinics in geo-strategic locations across Africa will accelerate the herculean goals being discussed today for a shared outcome of universal health coverage.

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