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Value of private healthcare market in GCC to hit $94bn by 2021

The value of the private healthcare market in the GCC is anticipated to grow by 8.7% annually, reaching $64bn in 2021, from $62bn in 2016

The private healthcare market in the GCC is expected to grow by 8.7% annually, reaching $94bn in 2021 [representational image].
The private healthcare market in the GCC is expected to grow by 8.7% annually, reaching $94bn in 2021 [representational image].

The value of the private healthcare market in the GCC is anticipated to grow by 8.7% annually, reaching $94bn in 2021, from $62bn in 2016.

Among the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia and the UAE represent more than two thirds of the market, with the latter exhibiting the fastest growth in the region, Emirates News Agency reported, citing a report by MENA Research Partners (MRP).

According to Anthony Hobeika, chief executive officer at MENA Research Partners, healthcare remained a major government expenditure in the GCC in 2017, despite governments implementing budget adjustments as a result of oil price-related challenges.

He further noted that the private sector is regarded by GCC governments as a key partner in the long-term development of the healthcare industry.

Economic diversification plans and national healthcare strategies to decrease the capacity shortage and improve the quality standards of the medical services are reportedly prompting states to also open the market to full foreign ownership.

"Healthcare services account for the lion’s share of the healthcare industry, at 79%, and is the fastest growing segment in the UAE," said Hobeika.

The healthcare services market is undergoing structural shifts to adapt to the demands of a health-conscious and digital-savvy population, he explained, adding that telemedicine, home healthcare, and long-term care are outperforming traditional health service providers such as hospitals and clinics.

"The fundamental change in market dynamics from curative to preventive care, and the digital wave transforming the sector, are creating investment opportunities in the niche segments of specialised and customised healthcare in the region," he concluded.

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