Health care to register strong growth

Health care to register strong growth
Updated 22 December 2014

Health care to register strong growth

Health care to register strong growth

The health care sector in the Kingdom will register strong growth in the coming years due to an overall increase in spending on specialized treatment, said a health expert.
Speaking at a health conference here recently, Abdulrahman Al-Nuaim, senior health care consultant and adviser at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, said that the medical device sector will register strong growth due to an overall increase in health care spending like specialized treatment, growing penetration by health care insurance, increase in per capita income and huge investments in both human resources and infrastructure.
Citing statistics, Al-Nuaim asserted that there are ample opportunities in this sector in the Kingdom, which accounts for nearly 50 percent of the total Middle East market.
The Kingdom’s medical device market was estimated at around $1.1 billion in 2013 and is expected to surpass $1.6 billion by 2018, he added. He said that several initiatives have been introduced on the health front in the Kingdom which will have a positive impact on all the allied fields of this sector. Many new specialties and super specialties are being introduced which will lead to an upsurge in the demand for medical devices, equipment and services.
He noted that domestic production of medical devices is limited and restricted to a few items. Therefore, imports are estimated to account for more than 80 percent of the overall market value.
“Imports of medical devices to the Kingdom reached a new high of $1.864 billion, a rise of 14 percent compared to the previous year,” he said. He said that the main suppliers for medical devices and equipment to the Kingdom are the United States with a 22.6 percent share, Germany (21.3 percent), the Netherlands (12.5 percent), China (7 percent) and Belgium (6 percent).
He added that in 2013, the Kingdom exported medical equipment worth $19.7 million.
Referring to the untapped opportunities in this sector Al-Nuaim underlined that there is big appetite for industrial localization with several semi-government companies being established to cater to this demand.
He also said that the Kingdom’s good track record of importing medical devices ensures stability and continuity for foreign companies.
On a recent visit to the country, officials of Korean companies showed a keen interest. One of their representatives told Arab News: “Our motto is to deepen the understanding regarding the health care market and introduce competitiveness of Korean medical industries in the Kingdom.”