World Class Health Misrata Libya
Top Quality Specialty Health system in Misrata, Libya
World Class Health Misrata (WCHM) is an intended world-class specialty health care system and a medical university in Libya. Creation of the WCHM is motivated by the fact that many people living in Libya do not have access to medical care that is of good quality. Following a consultative meeting with health experts in Libya, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a “total re-engineering” of health care services. The WHO also called for an urgent creation of more primary healthcare centers, regional hospitals, and specialty hospitals. The WHO identified other services urgently needed to include radiology and laboratory services, and training of health professionals. Lack of access to the needed health services forces many Libyans to travel to other countries in search of medical care.
The Country Can Do Better
People of Libya deserve better medical care that is affordable, of good quality and accessible, because Libya is not poor. Libya is a North African oil rich country with a low population density. Recent census indicates that 5.6 million people live on the country’s 1,775,500 km2. A third of the population is under 15 years of age; the median age is 24.8 years. The majority (78%) of the people live in the Mediterranean coastal cities of Tripoli (the capital, with 1.1 million inhabitants), Benghazi (second largest city, with 632,000 inhabitants), and Misrata (the third largest, with 250,00 inhabitants). The male-to-female ratio is 1.05, infant mortality at birth is 12/1,000 live births, and life expectancy at birth is 78 years. GDP-per capita on PPP is $13,300 by 2012 estimate.
The discovery of oil in the 1960s transformed the socioeconomic profile of Libya to an upper middle-income nation. Medical schools and health service facilities increased in tandem with the rise of the living standards in the 1970s. However, negative relations with United States and European countries in the 1980s led to political isolation that culminated in United Nation sanctions against Libya in the 1990s. The sanctions led to a general decline in the status of the country and atrophy of national infrastructure, including the health care system. Even then, the Libyan public health sector remained the main provider of health services, which are free at the point of delivery, which includes 27 specialized hospitals and 36 general hospitals in different parts of the country for secondary and tertiary care.
Multiple health care reforms changed the health administration from a traditionally centralized system to a completely decentralized system and, then back again to a fully centralized system. This vacillation from a centralized to a decentralized and back to a centralized governance created much confusion in the health sector, and serious deterioration of the public health care services. Libyan citizens lost faith in the public health system and choose to seek medical care in other countries. Medical and health tourism to Tunisia and Egypt flourished, and continue to do so. While the total amount of money spent by Libyans on medical tourism is difficult to estimate, it ranges between $100-200 millions per year.
Medical and health tourism pose serious threats to the public health oriented national health system in Libya. When people decide to purchase medical care in another country, the domestic health system in Libya loses financially. Beyond the financial loss in form of moneys spent purchasing health and medical services in another country, is the loss of political pressure that local nationals would otherwise exert to the national leaders to improve the local health system. In this way, medical tourism is detrimental to the health care system in the country. Yet, the possibility to find care in neighboring countries gives the local people little incentive to exert pressure for quality improvement for local health services.
Private health care sector has historically played a marginal role in health services delivery in Libya. The absence of a well-organized health insurance system, and the ambivalence of the outgoing regime on private healthcare provision limited the growth of private health care. In recent years Libya has rapidly re-emerged from international isolation, and business is springing back. The national leadership is supportive of the private health care enterprise, encouraging private investment in health care and medical facilities. The general problem is that Libya’s health system, suffering long-term neglect and lack of investment, is indeed inadequate, with high rates of infection in hospitals and limited medical equipment. Libya is a country of high medical risk category, where the general standard of medical care is poor. In countries with a high medical risk, moderate and severe illness or injury generally require international evacuation, and quality dental services are generally not available. Investment in world-class private medical facilities can help to overcome this risk. The goal of WCHM is to create a world-class specialty academic health system in Misrata that would provide medical services of highest quality possible. WCHM’s approach is to focus on three primary drivers of health care: cost, quality and access.
Statement of Intent
WCHM intends to establish a world-class medical university in the coastal city of Misrata, Libya. Three major and closely interrelated problems motivate the intent of this undertaking:
- The severely inadequate health services in Libya. WCHM has noted that health services in Libya are unsafe, of low quality, and inaccessible to majority of the people. The people of Libya, afraid to use health services locally, seek medical care in other countries. Indeed healthcare consumers in Libya would be willing to pay more for better care that is of high value, of efficient supply of drugs, of better technical quality, of well-maintained health facilities, and of short wait times. The specific problem is that an entity that can produce comprehensive world-class medical service is lacking in Libya.
- The absence of health services and biomedical innovative research and development (R&D) capability in Libya. World Class Health Misrata is poised to create a world-class research facility attached to the world-class hospital. The research facility will serve as center for research excellence in Libya. The center will produce the best-in class researchers in health, medicine, and basic sciences. The research facility will also serve as a technology transfer organization that will manage intellectual property, licensing, and commercialization of products of research to meet health needs of people living in the Libya.
- The severe shortage of qualified health professionals in Libya. As in many countries of the world, Libya is faced with a severe shortage of all cadre health care human resources. Concerned about this shortage, WCHM proposes creation of world-class training facility in Misrata for doctors, nurses, clinical officers, and clinical scientists. The training facility will be an academic medical center attached to a 200-bed teaching hospital.
In view of these problems, WCHM intends to construct a full-scale high quality academic medical center with full-fledged research, teaching and health services delivery capabilities as a first step in finding an effective solution to the three problems.
The WCHM will be a master-planned medical facility, built in an all-inclusive development that will have multiple land uses including a medical technology park, research institutions, real estate and hospitality zone. Upon completion, the WCHM will be home to a 200-bed world-class academic medical center, and a series of specialty clinics in the medical park. This central unit will be connected to a series of ambulatory primary care centers distributed throughout the populous regions of Libya. The WCHM will provide health services of world class standard to become the one of premier medical destinations in the world.
The WCHM medical campus will comprise:
- A 200-bed medical facility built on a 20-acre medical campus in Misrata, Libya.
- A modern research facility for cutting edge research in science, technology, medicine, biology, and health services.
- Fully fledged medical university for training doctors, nurses, clinical officers, medical scientists, public health officers and health administrators.
- A network of franchised ambulatory clinics.
- 100 (one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom) residential houses/apartments to accommodate people working in the WCHM.
- Hospitality zone for world-class hotel service to accommodate visitors to the world-class medical facility.
- Power generation center with at least 100 Megawatt output capacity energy supply to the city, and surrounding areas.
- Water treatment facility to provide millions of gallons clean water needed to run the large academic medical center.