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BT looks at Middle East opportunities to expand health IT business


Qatar, November 21, 2007: BT today announced it is meeting senior members of the Qatar business community and representatives of government organisations to discuss e-health business opportunities in Qatar and neighbouring states.

BT’s International Health Advisory Board, comprising leaders in healthcare and public policy from around the globe, is discussing with key decision-makers how BT could help develop and advance healthcare information systems in Qatar, as well as examining other opportunities in the region.

The International Health Advisory Board is chaired by the Honourable Ruth Richardson, New Zealand’s Minister of Finance in the early nineties during a period of world-class reform.

Speaking at the meeting, Francois Barrault, chief executive of BT Global Services said: “I am excited and honoured to be here to discuss with senior decision-makers in Qatar’s health community how we might be able to work with them to develop an effective and advanced healthcare information system for the country. Qatar is a forward-thinking country and is looking to develop a world-class IT infrastructure to form the basis of a world-leading healthcare model. I believe BT has a great deal to offer in helping Qatar achieve that ambition.

“BT has proved itself as a world-class IT services organisation through the successful delivery of its large-scale contracts for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. We have delivered secure solutions and services to the NHS on a massive scale, in a highly complex and demanding specialist environment.

“We are accelerating our investment in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in recognition of the fact that this is one of the fastest growing ICT markets in the world. The health sector is a particularly interesting area for us to explore, given the wealth of experience we have from playing a leading role in delivering a national healthcare IT system in the UK.”

BT has established offices in 12 countries in the Middle East, employing hundreds of people, with technical and commercial specialists based in all the key centres across the region. The company is already supporting some of the world’s largest multinational corporations throughout the Middle East and Africa as well as a number of locally-based companies

BT has considerable experience in healthcare IT. In the UK, it is one of the largest suppliers of IT services to the National Health Service (NHS). It is also playing a pivotal roll in the NHS National Programme for Information Technology, the world’s largest civilian IT programme, which via new computer systems and services links local doctors and community services to hospitals to deliver better, safer care to patients in England.

Under this programme, BT is delivering three contracts worth more than US$4 billion, comprising N3, a broadband network with more than 20,000 secure connections between hospitals and doctors throughout England; the Spine, one of the world’s biggest transactional databases and messaging systems containing more than 50 million records; and in greater London it is delivering a large-scale upgrade to the IT across all care settings in 74 health trusts to enable the creation of an integrated care record for more than 7.5 million patients.

Internationally BT is also delivering a contract to improve the exchange of information between hospitals, outpatient clinics and general practitioners with consortia representing three of the least developed regions of Hungary.


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