Date(s) - 19/11/2019
12:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Healthcare Workshop – Tunis
Categories No Categories
The purpose of the healthcare workshop was to bring together a group of people to discuss the business opportunities for UK companies to engage with both the Libyan public and private sector healthcare service providers across a wide range of services and supplies. Whilst prior to 2011 there had been a close engagement on the many healthcare fronts between the UK and Libya recent events and circumstances had caused a major decline in trade and communication.
The workshop was well attended by a wide cross section of interests from both Libya and the UK which included representatives from the Libyan Ministry of Health, Libyan private hospitals and clinics, Dr Nagi Barakat, a former Libyan Minister of Health, UK suppliers including Excalibur Healthcare Services and Mediworld, Bab Libya, ABC Bank and various UK government representatives including Alastair Long, Deputy HM Trade Commissioner for Africa. A total of 25 people attended the workshop.
The workshop moderator, Eric Butterworth, asked each attendee to introduce themselves and state their interest in attending the workshop. It became very apparent from the outset that both Libyan public and private sector attendees were keen to do business with UK service and equipment suppliers across a wide range. These included pharmaceuticals, medical equipment supply and maintenance, medical training, management training, medical records, ancillary supplies, ambulance services, blood supplies and a range of other business including the construction of new and refurbishment of existing hospitals. Polyclinics and clinics.
Without exception, all of the attendees contributed to the discussions which included matters such as service and supply requirements, delivery facilities, security of payment, visas for health specialists and patients to visit the UK, exchanges between UK institutions and Libyan healthcare providers.
A brief discussion took place about payment and Letters of Credit (LC’s). Eric Balish of Bank ABC explained the mechanism and security of using LC’s as a reliable method of payment within an acceptable timeframe. Unfortunately some companies had experienced long delays in receiving payment using LC’s in the past which had led to some either insisting on either cash or full payment in advance via a bank on later transactions.
There are still some long outstanding debts owed to UK companies and Lydie Sheehanof the DTI offered to assist any UK companies who are in that situation which included one of the workshop contributors.
The proposal for a healthcare conference to be organised by the LBBC in London in the Spring/Summer of 2020 was supported enthusiastically by all.
Alastair Long proposed that some research should be carried out in preparation for the UK event and suggested that some government funding could be available to this end.
The meeting ended on an agreement that there should be a single point interface from both Libya and the UK. It was agreed that Omran Abusahmin, the LBBC consultant, should be the Libyan point of contact and Paul Johnson, the Operations Director for Excalibur should be the UK point of contact.
The meeting concluded after 2 hours and all attendees were encouraged to continue with further one to one discussions.
Eric Butterworth, Chair, Healthcare Workshop