Jihad Flayhan interview – Al Morakeb
As Lebanon continues to grapple with its current reality, local business leaders and companies are striving to pump vital lifeblood back into the arteries of its markets.
Leading regional health insurance management and administration services provider Nextcare is pumping much-needed expertise and resources into supporting the country’s medical services sector.
Led by country general manager Jihad Fleihan, ongoing research and the application of next-generation technological advancements is providing optimised services access to customers across Lebanon.
This is accompanied by a commitment to transparency and the highest standards of governance. In practical terms, this has manifested as a correction in the existing pricing mechanism, with a more market-appropriate model offsetting the current dollar crisis.
While the company is firmly committed to regional expansion its priority – and goal – is to secure the future of its customers and protect them with the efforts of our experienced team.
As part of the renewals, there are many of your clients who renewed their contracts in Lebanon…
Despite the ongoing crisis, we didn’t slow down our development activities and were able to retain our client base, with no customers lost in the last six years. The contract renewals are still in force and we are also gearing up to add a new cadre of reputable insurance companies to our Lebanon business.
Our market reputation has strengthened our customer relationships over this period, underpinned by exemplary customer service and business transaparency.
With your commitment to adoption of next-gen technologies, how is this impacting the Nextcare offering?
As an Allianz Partners company, technology has a major role to play in our business operations and customer offering. It is also extremely relevant when it comes to our Middle East and global growth strategy.
In 2021, we expanded our existing digital services offering to include teleconsultation, appointments booking and symptom checker options. The symptom checker takes in the patient’s data, analyses it and then directs the individual towards the right solution, such as to take prescribed medication or consult a doctor.
Among the various e-services we have developed is the health e-card. This replaces the need for a physical plastic card with an e-card alternative that is accessed using our MyNextcare app to allow entry to hospital.
We are constantly innovating to further develop our portfolio of e-services with other pipeline projects.
In which countries does Nextcare operate?
Currently, we are present in 10 Middle East and North Africa countries: the UAE, Oman, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tunisia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon.
We are confident in the significant potential that this region has to offer and aspire to grow our presence as we look to promising new markets, especially Middle Eastern destinations that are saturated with insurance companies and associated players.
How difficult is it to recruit the high calibre of team members required to operate in this challenging sector?
Nextcare has a fantastic pool of onboard talent and our experienced, efficient teams are perfectly placed to continually upgrade our services and products. Some of our team members have been with us for more than 15 years and are also essential to our global expansion strategy.
From an internal perspective, we draw on team expertise to progress our external projects; and are heavily reliant on their ability and expertise in developing the highest quality services. At the same time, we continue to attract new world-class talent and industry experts.
What is the ultimate goal of your expansion strategy for the region?
Our strategy oscillates between being a claims-oriented company and a healthcare company. We do not aspire to solely take care of the client’s health after they fall ill; we aim to prevent disease from the very beginning of the client relationship. Therefore, health management is at the heart of what we do, and we have developed a number of preventive programs aimed at maintaining a healthy lifestyle – to ‘secure your future’.
We continually strive for unparalleled success and, as service providers, we are market leaders, with presence in countries that have not been accessed by other companies.