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FEATURES & ANALYSIS

Qatar is splashing out huge amounts on medical facilities.

World Bank report titled ‘Trust, Voice and Incentives’, released in April, found the delivery of essential public services in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) “is failing to meet the needs of citizens and continues to be a source of widespread dissatisfaction.” But not so in the GCC.

Although statistical data varies considerably, it is clear the problem of counterfeit drugs is becoming a global issue, with sales volumes in some countries reaching unbelievable heights. The Arab region is no exception.

The price reduction announcement for medicines in the Gulf region, considered to be steep in comparison with other countries, has been welcomed by retailers and customers.

Once considered a taboo, esthetic surgery has become commonplace in the GCC as ever more people decide to go under the knife, pursuing latest trends and trying to defy the aging process. Despite considerable variation in quality provided, this branch of medicine is steadily growing everywhere in the region, with Dubai establishing itself as a medical hub aiming to become the Switzerland of the East.

Qatar’s fledgling pharmaceutical and medical devices sector is all set to get a leg up with the gradual introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (Seha) and increased healthcare spending, according to an Oxford Business Group (OBG) report.

The GCC hopes to see a robust rise of medical tourism in the region as projects worth billions of dollars are underway.

While it is well known that the construction and real estate sectors are undergoing a boom phase in the Gulf region, healthcare is another area which is showing heavy growth. As a result, expertise from countries like Germany is being sought to shore up the sector.

Germany’s expertise in medical products and services is increasingly finding resonance with the Gulf region’s growing needs.
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