GCC healthcare snippets

  • CHE (current healthcare expenditure) in the GCC is projected to reach US$ 104.6 billion in 2022 from an estimated US$ 76.1 billion in 2017, implying a CAGR of 6.6%. Expanding population, high prevalence of NCDs, rising cost of treatment and increasing penetration of health insurance are the factors auguring growth.
  • Between 2017 and 2022, CHE on outpatient services is predicted to grow at an annualised average rate of 7.4% to US$ 32.0 billion, faster than an anticipated CAGR of 6.9% on inpatient services to US$ 45.4 billion. The inpatient market will remain the largest segment with a contribution of 43.4% in 2022. CHE on ‘Others’ category is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2%.
  • In view of the anticipated rise in the number of patients, the GCC may require a collective bed capacity of 118,295 by 2022, indicating a demand for 12,358 new beds.
  • The region has over 700 healthcare projects worth US$ 60.9 billion under various stages of development. More than 85% of the projects, by value, are hospital projects and rest are clinics and research centres. Of the total, 264 projects worth US$ 24.7 billion are under the construction stage.
  • The average health inflation in the GCC was 5.5% in 2017 and is estimated to remain at around 4.0% through 2022.
  • Key growth drivers: Expanding size of population, swift transition to non-communicable diseases, roll out of compulsory health insurance, long term strategies aimed at capacity building, effectiveness of delivery system, encouraging PPP models, medical tourism, developing medical education and digitisation.
  • Key challenges: A low-price oil environment has been constraining the expansion of healthcare sector, limited availability of skilled healthcare professionals (on an average, the GCC has nearly 5.5 nurses and 2.8 physicians and dentists per 1,000 persons), gross medical inflation rates ranged between 5.0% and 12.0% in the GCC countries during 2017 due to growing incidence of NCDs, technological advancements and limited availability of specialised care, limited capacity and technology to treat ailments such as cancers, neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases leading to outbound medical tourism, inconsistent quality of services due to lack of reporting methods.
  • Key trends: Private sector participation, spurt in mergers and acquisitions due to increasing opp. for private sector players, rapidly growing lifestyle diseases and an ageing population are also prompting investments in long-term and post-acute care rehabilitation (LTPAC), specialised clinics and home healthcare providers, systemic change from curative care to preventive care, technologies such as electronic health records, e-visits, telemedicine, connected medical devices, robotic procedures, health monitoring wearables and health analytics are gaining acceptance in the region.


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  • EY – Investment big bets: Health care and life sciences in the GCC
  • Deloitte. - 2018 Global Health Care Outlook
  • Alpen Capital – GCC Healthcare Industry report