With the look of the most prestigious and acclaimed worldwide five stars hotel, the International Medical Centres stands out on top of a low hill in the city of Jeddah. A hospital which architectural design is splashed with plenty of natural light, green areas and enhanced with calligraphy, mosaics and specific colour schemes to make patients feel happy and with physicians selected not only for their skills but also for their humanity, is worth to be mentioned.
As a private hospital, the IMC is more of a jewel at the Red Sea shore standing as much for its majestic appearance that for the ambition of its CEO of creating an entire new paradigm of healthcare system not only in Saudi, but beyond.
“My mission in life is to pioneer an unique approach of healing mind, body, heart and soul by applying the best global healthcare standards while pursuing divine ethics. I’m not in the business of building 30 hospitals but in the business of providing the whole world with a model of healing and to bring a new paradigm shift on healthcare.” explains Dr. Walid Fitaihi, Founder, Chairman & CEO of the International Medical Centre.
Fitaihi starts by differentiating cure and healing. “You can have the best surgery in the world that knows how to fix but in the process of fixing he or she might inflict the most significant psychological and emotional scars to the patient and the family,” he says.
Fitaihi´s philosophy stands as strong as his wish to differentiate IMC. “We are still living in the industrial age or the information and knowledge age but we are entering a new age which is called the wisdom age. In the wisdom age the emphasis is no longer things like machines, information or knowledge. The new age is emphasizing the missing factor: the human being in its mind, body, heart and spirit. For the last 100 years humanity has been trying to find itself by searching outside. We reached the moon and yet we failed to feed the hunger next door. We understood so much about the cosmos and yet we failed to understand the basis of our inner soul. In short, humanity is lost,” he asserts.
And he even goes beyond with a heartrending statement. “Any human being is nothing but an expense in the payroll of any balance sheet of any company while the chairs we are sitting on, for example, are the assets and capital of the organisation. We are inheriting a whole culture based on managing people as things”
This is Fitaihi´s starting point: to change the paradigm is changing the way of interaction between doctors, managers and patients. However he admits, “it will take a whole life and probably two other generations to continue and strive to achieve such a high project.”