Breaking the 'barriers' in healthcare - a blog by Hazwan Najib, a MSc in Global Healthcare Leadership student
6 March 2023
Digital health & innovation Global perspective
Hazwan Najib, a MSc in Global Healthcare Leadership student, shares his journey of overcoming barriers in healthcare to digitally innovate health provision.
What motivated me to pursue the Oxford MSc in Global Healthcare Leadership?
Inconvenient and limited access to doctors, rising costs, and gaps in healthcare literacy among Malaysians are among the most critical healthcare challenges in Malaysia. Without any domain knowledge or training in healthcare, I took a leap of faith to start a healthcare company 6 years ago aiming to address these gaps. DoctorOnCall is a platform for patients to connect with a doctor on-demand, access accurate health information and attend to other healthcare matters such as medications, supplements, and other health services.
My background and what brought me to healthcare
I spent 10 years in a Management Consulting firm where my domain expertise was in banking, working with multiple banking clients across Southeast Asia. The common mission for banks has always been about shifting to digital, having seamless online and mobile experiences and most importantly moving people away from the traditional physical branches. Over the last 20 years, banks all over the world have gone through an evolution of moving transactions from physical branches to auto-teller machines to online banking and to mobile banking. Meanwhile in healthcare, I still need to visit a crowded clinic, even for a very brief doctor’s consultation. When it comes to operational excellence and customer-centricity, the healthcare sector evidently lags behind where crowded waiting rooms, long waiting times and poor patient services are still the norms. I believe there is a real opportunity to bring the best practices into healthcare in terms of processes, policies, and technology.
As the pandemic began in early 2020, we supported Malaysia's Ministry of Health to launch the first-ever telehealth channel to the public as health clinics and hospitals were becoming inundated with patients. They needed a platform to divert patients' inquiries on Covid-19. After experiencing some level of resistance in the early years from the industry, we now realized that we had developed something that was much-needed, future-ready and highly scalable as the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the healthcare system within days.
Two years since the pandemic started, I am now more determined than ever to play a bigger part in shaping the healthcare system of the future. I would like to complement my venture in healthcare with a deeper understanding of the healthcare system, policies, and its underlying dynamics which I believe is what Oxford's MSc in Global Healthcare Leadership programme has to offer. It has been extremely difficult to be an outsider to an industry where you are constantly challenged on the basis of 'that is not how it works here'. I felt strongly that my participation in this inaugural programme would equip me with the necessary knowledge and the most revolutionary perspective from a diverse set of cohorts and faculty members.