Healthcare & life Sciences

Healthcare & life Sciences

The establishment of the Ministry of Health in 1950 marked the beginning of the rapid development of a modern healthcare ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. Investments in healthcare infrastructure, technologies, educational & Research institutes and the healthcare workforce enabled the Kingdom to make key improvements in clinical outcomes. The kingdom is having approximately 8,122 physicians, 18,745 nurses, 1,525 dentists and 9,748 allied health professionals distributed among 2,282 Primary health Care centers.

Key players in the ecosystem are as follow:

Ministry of Health (MOH), it provides healthcare, promotes public health and disease prevention, develops laws and legislations, and regulates the industry. It also monitors the performance of health institutions, supports and conducts research and runs healthcare academies.

The Saudi Health Council plays the role of liaison between the multiple health sector stakeholders in the Kingdom to provide high quality health services efficiently by eliminating duplication and waste.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority develops and enforces health standards to regulate the sector.

The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties ensures effectiveness of health practitioners’ registration and classification, promotes medical research and education, and sustains professional development through coordination and partnerships with local and international institutions.

Being the largest spender on healthcare across the Middle East and North Africa, Saudi Arabia has improved its key healthcare outcomes significantly. Still the Kingdom faces a new set of challenges that are driving the next phase of development in the health sector, mainly the growing population, the highly changing demographic profile and the nationwide shift in the disease profile across the country.

Insurance based financing and the participation of the private sector in the healthcare system are the two key pillars on the 2030 Vision approach to healthcare. This approach is transformative to the sector, covering all the model of care, financing, private sector participation, governance, human capital and digital transformation. As such, investors will find significant opportunities across the entire sector including hospital and healthcare services, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

The Kingdom is seeking to bring care closer to the patient rather than the current model of government facilities. Preventive care and wellness ecosystems are also among the key plans of the government resulting in the creation of primary care centers, medical imaging, laboratories, hospitals and hospital commissioning, long-term care, rehabilitation, and home care.

To decrease the burden of chronic diseases and to increase life expectancy further, Saudi Arabia will make significant investments in preventative care and wellness ecosystem worth $130 billion in: primary care centers, medical imaging, laboratories, hospitals and hospital commissioning, long-term care, rehabilitation, and home care. Currently, 90% of medical devices in the Kingdom are imported and the forecasted cumulative government spending on medical devices over the next 5 years will be worth approximately $11 billion. The per capita drug spend in the Kingdom is 113% higher than the global average, while only 30% of pharmaceutical products are locally manufactured. Cumulative government spending on pharmaceuticals over the next 5 years will be worth $42 billion.

[source: “Saudi General investment Authority” data]