Frank Lang: Creating Healthcare Facilities with Advanced IT Infrastructures that Can Accommodate the Increasing Use of Telemedicine
Technical Director at WSP in the Middle East
What are the characteristics of the healthcare market in your region?
There is public healthcare in Dubai, but the market across the whole of the Middle East is predominantly private. It is also still a relatively young market which means it is an exciting space in terms of new investment opportunities. We are seeing a trend towards specialist clinical units such as acute care facilities and children’s hospitals, as well as an increase in the provision of both general and teaching hospitals. The challenge for health providers is to find the staff with the specialist skills required to run these advanced facilities.
Saudi Arabia is a particularly active market with an increasing appetite for highly advanced university hospitals, laboratories and new ‘medical cities’ where a plethora of facilities are built together, creating whole new neighborhoods.
What are the main drivers that are changing healthcare delivery?
In the global healthcare market, information technology combined with the focus on general ‘wellness’ is emphasizing trends in the Middle East such as Healthcare Tourism. In practice this means creating healthcare facilities with advanced IT infrastructures that can accommodate the increasing use of telemedicine – using telecommunications and IT to provide clinical services from a distance. The growing focus on global wellness also means we are creating more long-stay hospital wards. In this market, convalescence in a formal care setting is preferred.
What aspect of your role in healthcare do you find most rewarding?
From an intellectual point of view, working in a developing market means that you are constantly facing fresh and interesting challenges and finding new and exciting opportunities. It is also very rewarding to work on schemes that are clearly making a difference to the communities they serve.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
If you could be a piece of hospital equipment, what would you be?
A MRI scanner – to get the whole picture.
Frank is from Australia and joined our Dubai-based team in 2015 to develop the group’s healthcare offering in the Middle East.
Bringing more than 20 years of experience in the energy and engineering sectors, Frank specialized in healthcare projects early in his career. Frank relishes the complexity of hospital builds and upgrades, as well as healthcare schemes’ direct value to their local communities.
Frank’s remit is to use his expert operations know-how and extensive international business development experience to expand WSP’s presence in local markets across the region covering Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Omar and Bahrain. Kuwait Children’s Hospital is a current example of the expertise we have in the Middle East.
A mechanical engineer of RMIT University in Melbourne with a fondness for running and exercise, outside of the office Frank enjoys the cultural diversity of living and working in Dubai.