US$ 60 billion for hospitals by 2025

Population growth and worsening GCC health prompt initiative.

More hospitals are needed in the region to cope with high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
More hospitals are needed in the region to cope with high rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Saudi Arabia is leading the GCC in a US$ 10 billion hospital building initiative. This move comes in response to a report that the demand for hospital beds in the region is set to double by the year 2025.

According to database managers, Proleads, Saudi Arabia leads all Gulf nations with dozens of active public and private sector hospital and clinic projects worth an estimated US$ 6.5 billion.

With a significantly smaller number of active hospital projects, Qatar ranks a distant second with US$ 1.5 billion in earmarked healthcare funds.

"Arabian Gulf governments have been encouraging international institutions to set up health care facilities in the region but many more providers will be required to meet the huge future demand," said Simon Page, Director of Healthcare for International Institute of Research (IIR) Middle East.

At the moment, the UAE has nine active hospital projects worth an estimated US$ 596 million; Kuwait has four projects worth US$ 428 million; and Bahrain has one worth US$ 130 million.

Given the rapid growth of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, consultants McKinsey & Co. predicted the need for 162,000 more hospital beds by 2025 and total GCC expenditure of US$ 60 billion within the same time frame.

The hospital building initiative is necessary to serve the growing population but also because of the unusually high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes and obesity among citizens of GCC countries.

"The health complications associated with both will have a dramatic impact in coming years," says Page.

The increase in the number of regional medical institutions is expected to have a large impact on the architects specialising in healthcare and institutional design over the next 15 years.

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