How is marm assistance preparing for the World Cup in Qatar in terms of building medical networks and procuring local partners?
The marm Dubai office has been expanding its network for 10 years in MENA region. Qatar is one of the most frequently visited Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, so the medical facilities are periodically visited and assessed by marm medical and network teams.
Ever since FIFA announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup back in 2010, preparations on a total of eight stadiums have been in full force and these stadiums are within walking distance of one another. In the stadium region, the medical facilities, ambulance companies and hotels are very close to each other.
In preparation for this event, marm has considered not just the medical network in UAE, but the leisure needs of travellers that are expected to stop by during tournaments. Local partners play an important role in the smooth running of events that welcome thousands of international travellers. marm’s local know how and presence in the region is one of its strongest characteristics.
What are the unique challenges you’ve faced so far with regards to cultural and regulatory differences in Qatar, and how have you overcome these?
Over 85 per cent of Qatar population is expats which makes the country very multicultural. Health regulations are similar to other GCC countries, and are well developed. English is a common language in all sectors, which allows for easy communication between the entities involved. marm has been providing medical assistance in the region for almost 10 years, and we are very comfortable cooperating with medical facilities in contractual and operational matters.
Is the medical system in Qatar ready for the influx of international visitors?
How is marm ready to assist both hospitals and insurers to facilitate smooth care pathways? Qatar has adequate, qualified, and fully equipped governmental hospitals. On the other hand, private medical facilities are also capable of servicing international patients. marm has been providing information to its partners about the capabilities of the medical facilities since the beginning of the year, sharing preferred provider lists and proposing tailormade assistance services. marm’s MENA team has developed a network of ambulance companies as well as put in place emergency plans for any evacuation need from the country to other GCC or nearby counties. During the event, marm’s medical team will provide ongoing live consultancy services to its clients. For the tournament, marm focuses on Doha, Qatar but will be monitoring alternative facilities in surrounding countries to arrange road or air transportation in case of a need for advanced treatment.
Are you recruiting local staff to help with language differences between patients and medical facilities?
marm does not foresee any difficulties due to language differences. English is a common language in the country, much as it is in other GCC countries. marm’s current multilingual staff speak 10 different languages, which covers almost all languages of the qualified teams in the tournament. In case of any extraordinary need, marm has the capability to provide language support through its contacted partners.
What other efforts has marm been making to ensure that the company stands ready to respond to a small or large-scale emergency?
marm has an abundance of experience as an emergency centre in various projects in different countries. Some of the fields in which marm is the emergency medical provider include Formula 1 races, petroleum platforms, construction areas, earthquakes, and extreme sports. The marm medical team has a detailed and periodically updated disaster management plan. marm alarm centres in Istanbul and Dubai are operational 24/7 with dedicated medical team. In case of an emergency, the road maps are ready for different occasions and supported by total quality management directives.