Same same but different: healthcare business in different cultures

Posted by: on May 29, 2015 | No Comments

At a VIP dinner hosted by Diaverum in London yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to meet with almost 20 leading nephrologists and renal business partners from 10 different countries. An exciting experience, since such dinners provide the opportunity to learn about the local challenges and to discuss areas of improvement in the care of our patients. Each country has a different healthcare environment with different reimbursement levels and local regulations but the ultimate goal is (or at least should be) to provide the best possible quality of care for patients.

Being Swedish certainly helps in many ways – Swedes have for many decades been used to working in different markets and cultures. Sweden is a small country and was forced already in the early 20th century to look outward rather than inward and many of our successful companies today were therefore established many decades ago. In my experience the best strategy for a multinational business is a ´global but local´ approach. In most cases it is neither possible nor reasonable to try to roll out a global approach in all countries. When it comes to medical policies and procedures Diaverum is very strict in implementing the highest global standards in any market that we operate in. But, when it comes to company culture, it is essential to adapt to local cultures. And this is what ultimately makes a company successful.

For Europeans, the Middle East is a rather unknown part of the world. Visiting Dubai for a couple of days´ holiday does not mean that one has learnt the culture of the region. Even if cultures in the countries forming the Middle East are very different to the cultures in Sweden or in other European countries there is one thing that truly unites us. We all strive for putting the patient in the centre.

I have had the opportunity to visit a few of Diaverum’s kidney centres in Saudi Arabia and the passion and patient-centred approach displayed by our staff is very encouraging. There is also a genuine politeness and respect towards our patients. I would go as far as to say that countries in many other parts of the world can learn from the patient-centred culture in Saudi Arabia.

Foto på Dag Andersson