The healthcare boom in the Gulf is set to continue, stimulated by rising populations, increasing affluence, longer life expectancy and the growth in medical tourism from surrounding countries.
The latest Ventures Middle East Onsite Report 2015 estimates that $7.3 billion contracts were awarded in 2015, a $1.45 billion increase over 2014, almost 20%.
In the region, the Saudi Arabian health care sector is the largest (it is the most populous country) and expected growth is 9.2 % per annum up to 2020. The UAE and Qatar are the fastest growing areas and are investing heavily in medical tourism. The UAE is building more than 20 hospitals to cope with this expected influx of patients.
The Most Popular Specialities
Some medical specialities are in high demand whilst others are almost forgotten. The demographics of the Gulf and anticipated medical tourism market make the following specialities popular:
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Plastic Surgery (especially Aesthetic Surgery)
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology