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Zawya: $125Bn Health Check

The Middle East North Africa region is expected to spend $125-billion on healthcare by 2015 for a population of 233 million, according to AMCL.
13.09.11 | Interesting article at Zawya

MENA healthcare costs in 2009 stood at $65.6 billion in 2009 (4.3% GDP), or $315 per person, which appears to be well below the global average. The Gulf states do better with $923 per person but the figures remain vastly below the United States' $7,410 healthcare spending per individual.

While there are certainly sharp contrasts in the state of healthcare in the United States and MENA, the region's needs are fast changing and healthcare infrastructure is falling behind.

The region's increased life expectancy, high population growth, low mortality rates, higher income levels and government-regulated need for greater healthcare is set to turn the industry on its head.

Much of this growth is driven by the governments themselves. The state shoulders the majority share of healthcare costs in Algeria (86%), Qatar (80%), Kuwait (76%) and Oman (76%). On average 64% of healthcare costs are absorbed by MENA governments, while Gulf states foot 70% of their citizens' healthcare bill.

Surprisingly, the Gulf states fare worse than overall MENA in a number of healthcare indicators. The number of hospital beds per 10,000 people stands at 20.6 in the Gulf, compared to 21.6 in MENA. Similarly, there are 13 physicians for 10,000 people in the Gulf, compared to 18.3 physicians in MENA.

"Healthcare expenditure in the MENA region is low both in terms of percentage of GDP and on a per capita basis. The region spends 4.3% of the GDP on healthcare; it is lower compared to the developed countries such as the US (16.2%), Canada (10.9%) and the UK (9.4%) as well as the developing BRIC nations (5.4%)," notes AMCL in its report.