Healthcare & Medicine
Saudi Arabia: Healthcare balance
Saudi Arabia's health care sector has seen a dramatic change in recent years. With the introduction of compulsory health insurance for expatriates working in the private sector, the business landscape has shifted for pharmaceutical companies, insurers and health care providers, all of whom are still looking for long-term balance in the market. The Kingdom has the largest health care sector in the Middle East, and the government plans to increase medical spending even more this year. The 2010 State Budget set aside SR61.2 billion (US$16.3 billion) for health and social affairs, accounting for 11.3 per cent of total spending. The figure represents a 51% increase over the 2009 budget, which stood at SR40.43 billion (US$10.7 billion) for health and social affairs, 8.5 per cent of total spending. According to the Saudi Arabia Budget Report published by Banquet Saudi France, the bulk of the increase appears to cover the cost of staffing the large and growing number of hospitals and medical centers the Kingdom is building as it continues with plans to modernize the system. Up to 92 hospitals could be added over the coming years. Compulsory medical insurance for expatriates, first introduced in the Kingdom in 2006, was part of the health care reform plan. The first stage of the phased introduction covered all workplaces with more than 500 people. This was followed by the next stage, introduced in the second half of 2007, which mandated all workplaces with fewer than 500 employees to also adopt the policy. Now, all companies with fewer than 500 employees that are renewing business licenses must provide proof that expatriate medical insurance is available for all staff. This policy was a major shift in the Saudi market, although the main players in the industry - pharmaceutical companies, insurers and health care providers - are still at odds as to who benefits the most in the new landscape. (Source: OBG)
Saudi pharma expenditure to hit US$3.5bn
Pharmaceutical and healthcare spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to surge to SAR13.09 billion (US$3.5 billion) by 2013, driven by the growing healthcare demand of the country's sizeable population. The kingdom spent SR9.94 billion in 2008 on healthcare, according to a report. Saudi Arabia's pharmaceutical and medical device markets, in particular, are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12 per cent and 7 per cent respectively until 2012, said an expert. This growth is influenced in part by aggressive government spending as SR61.2 billion has already been allocated for healthcare expenditure, representing a 17 per cent increase from 2009, for various large-scale projects including new primary centers all over the country and 92 new hospitals with a combined capacity of 17,150 beds. This positive growth trend reinforces the Kingdom's reputation as a key stakeholder in the regional healthcare industry as Saudi's drug market already accounts for a dominating 65 per cent of all pharmaceutical sales in the GCC, said Mohammed Al Hussaini, deputy general manager of Riyadh Exhibitions Company, organizers of the upcoming 'Saudi Medicare 2010' expo.
BESIX & Samsung awarded AED4.7bn Cleveland Clinic
Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) confirmed that the BESIX Group (50 per cent-owned by OCI) has been awarded a AED4.7 billion (US$1.3bn) contract to build the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi in joint venture with Samsung. BESIX Group's share in the contract is DHS 2.8 billion (US$780m) or 60 per cent of the total contract value. The client, Mubadala Healthcare, is an investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government and is part of the Mubadala Development Company Division. The project is planned to be completed by Q1 2013. BESIX Group's scope of work is a on turnkey basis and covers an area of 400,000 m3 which includes 200,000 m3 of parking area and 375 state-of-the-art medical rooms including exclusive royal suites and associated administrative areas. The Cleveland Clinic will be located on Sowwah Island. The BESIX Group and Samsung have executed flagship projects in the UAE in the past including the Ferrari Park Experience on Yas Island and ADIA's headquarters in Abu Dhabi as well as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Currently Contrack International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCI, is executing the first academic medical center in the region - the SIDRA Medical and Research Center for the Qatar Foundation in Doha.