UAE. Governments throughout the GCC are increasingly channeling their efforts towards creating world-class healthcare facilities, Deloitte experts find.
As the official Knowledge Partner for the Hospital Build and Infrastructure Middle East Exhibition, held in Dubai from June 4 to 6, 2012, Deloitte experts presented a series of healthcare landscape presentations, outlining challenges in regional healthcare regulations as well as capacity planning for healthcare projects.
“We are witnessing governments in the GCC focus more and more on the healthcare industry in their respective countries, improving structure and facilities. However, governments are facing many challenges in doing so, with many turning towards Public Private Partnerships (PPP), to aid in the transfer of quality service to raise the level of healthcare provision across the region,” said Julian Hawkins, Partner in charge for Consulting Services at Deloitte Middle East.
Deloitte healthcare experts spearheaded a series of presentations on the challenges and opportunities facing the healthcare sector in the GCC. The presentations included an in-depth focus on Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with several key findings from each market.
Private Sector increases involvement in healthcare in Kuwait
The Kuwaiti healthcare market is dominated by the public sector, with the government currently providing over 6,000 hospital beds in 15 hospitals, as compared to the private sector’s 772 beds in 9 hospitals. However, there is an evident increased participation of the private sector in the healthcare industry in Kuwait. In addition, the regulatory structure in the country is supporting the increased participation of the private sector in the market; not only in the number of healthcare facilities, but also in healthcare provision and infrastructure.
Deloitte experts predict that Kuwait’s healthcare industry will continue to expand rapidly due to the increasing participation of the private sector, the rising number of new hospitals and clinics and growing demand for specialty medical care.
Qatar as a growing competitive pharmaceutical market
Driven by the economic and expected population growth (with the potential influx of expatriate population to support the World Cup 2022 projects), disease incidents in Qatar are forecasted to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.3% from 2011-2025, reaching 18 million incidents. As such, the government has already taken steps to introduce mandatory health insurance for all, to potentially increase the demand for healthcare services and pharmaceutical market.
As in Kuwait, there is an increased participation of the private sector in Qatar’s healthcare industry as well. The government has also taken steps to liberalize the pharmaceutical sector to increase competitiveness in the market.
Deloitte healthcare experts also expect substantial investments towards expanding and regulating the healthcare industry which will boost its competitiveness.
Saudi Arabia, a structured growing healthcare industry
All private healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia, targeting insured patients must be licensed by the Ministry of Health and then accredited by the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI). In light of this, Deloitte experts find that Saudi Arabia offers one of the most healthcare reformed and organized structures in the GCC.
In addition, the high domestic demand driven by large population base and high health insurance penetration is boosting the industry growth. As such, there is a need for investments across primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services. Deloitte experts point to the need for public private partnerships to enhance the KSA healthcare sector.
Reform driven growing healthcare industry in the UAE
The Ministry of Health in the UAE continues to play a pivotal role in the development of a comprehensive healthcare system, capable of coordinating the collective efforts of the various regulators to achieve the strategic objectives. A core initiative by the UAE government is the increased involvement of the private sector in channeling their investment in the industry to improve healthcare provision in the country.
Deloitte experts propose that in order for the industry to flourish, healthcare infrastructure should be improved through enhancing the regulatory structure, setting strategies to attract and retain skills, as well as putting in action plans for the development of facilities.
“Governments in the GCC should play a more pivotal role in the healthcare sector, to enhance its reach and services in their respective countries,” said Hawkins. “In addition, there is a growing need for augmented medical facilities and improved medical insurance, for a stronger healthcare market. Public Private Partnerships will surely aid in the development of the sector,” he added.
To learn more about the GCC healthcare industry, read Deloitte’s latest report on the UAE Healthcare market.
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