Private Healthcare Plans in the Gulf


Sarah Peddie

Governments in the Gulf are taking strides towards improving their healthcare systems by investing more into the private healthcare sector. 

Due to an aging and expanding population, as well as the increase of lifestyle diseases, the healthcare sector is a top priority for the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

With Governments continuing to introduce changes to improve the quality of services the healthcare expenditure is projected to reach US$104.6 billion by 2022. 

Government authorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council have functioned as investors and operators of healthcare facilities but their roles have been adapted to policymakers and regulators. However, now there is an increase in participation by private players.

Many National Transformation Plans and policy programmes like the UAE Vision 2021 and the Saudi Vision 2030 have outlined long-term strategies for the Governments to expand the role of the private healthcare sector. Increasing investments in the private sector will ease the demand on the public sector. 

Customer centricity will play a big role in the evolution of the region’s healthcare industry. Patient experience will become a priority for both public and private care. 

It is predicted that the impatient market is set to contribute 43.4% of healthcare expenditure. The outpatient market size is set to grow to US$32 billion. 

The region is also expected to require over 12,300 new hospital beds by 2022. 

Developments in technology, an influx of medical tourists and changing patient needs are major factors when it comes to changing the Gulf Cooperation Council healthcare landscape. 

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