Healthcare investment is increasing throughout the GCC with a projected 12.1 per cent CAGR from $40.3 billion in 2015 to $71.3 billion in 2020 (Alpen Capital). The demand for healthcare in the GCC is projected to rise by 240 per cent over the next 20 years. The region is facing a variety of healthcare challenges including providing sufficient hospital and primary care facilities to a growing population and the prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular ailments.
The GCC has strong ambitions to be recognised as an international healthcare hub and many governments are in the process of overhauling and streamlining their healthcare services. In line with a rapid population growth, increasing life expectancy and growing affluence the GCC’s healthcare sector is set to experience healthy growth over the next four years.
In order to ease the growing pressure on the healthcare system, the GCC governments are injecting huge funds as well as encouraging private sector participation to build hospitals and clinics, upgrade the existing infrastructure, and match the quality of services offered in developed countries. This includes investing heavily in technological advancements as well as rolling out mandatory health insurance schemes to further accelerate the growth of the healthcare sector.
Various super-projects being rolled out across the region include the staggering US$6.7 billion King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Security Forces Medical Complex in Saudi, the $1.5 billion Sultan Qaboos Medical City in Oman, Burjeel Medical City in Abu Dhabi and 35 healthcare projects spread across the Northern Emirates. The boom in healthcare investment is creating new opportunities for construction firms, facilities operators, and suppliers to the healthcare sector.
- Demand for hospital beds in the GCC is projected to grow at 2.3 percent CAGR to 113,925 beds in 2020, representing an additional requirement of more than 12,000 beds in the next four years
- The UAE are investing heavily in healthcare technology in an ambition to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2020
- Qatar has the highest spend on healthcare per capita in the world and investment in eHealth represents a key pillar of its current National Health Strategy
- The WHO predict 30% of the GCC population will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2030
- Up to 80 per cent of medical staff in some hospitals and clinics are from outside the region and have been trained in more than 50 different countries
- There are nearly 350 hospital projects under various stages of development around the region, of which almost 70 projects are worth more than $100 million each
Opportunities for Irish companies
- Ireland’s life sciences sector is seen as one of the most dynamic and vibrant sectors in Europe and it is one of the leading exporters from this country.
- Ireland is globally recognized as a Centre of Excellence and world class innovation and Irish companies have a strong track record and reputation in the healthcare sector across the Gulf States, ranging from medical device providers to health IT specialists, and diagnostics companies.
- The opportunity also crosses over into construction, as the levels of investment required for various Gulf States’ healthcare systems call for many new hospitals and medical facilities as well as HR and training solutions providers to meet the shortfall of skilled medical staff.
Project Leads – Q1 2017
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