Saudi Arabia lays out private sector opportunities in healthcare market

In the coming years, e-health, air medical transport, nephrology care, mental health, and rehabilitation will be at the center of kingdom's healthcare sector efforts

  
Image used for illustrative purpose Nurses walk in the emergency department at Al-Noor Specialist Hospital in Mecca .

Image used for illustrative purpose Nurses walk in the emergency department at Al-Noor Specialist Hospital in Mecca .

REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Saudi Arabia is aiming to grow the private sector’s contribution to the healthcare market from 25 to 35 percent by 2030, via a mix of privatization, public-private partnerships (PPP) and other incentives for investors, according to the kingdom's Minister of Health.

COVID-19 has invigorated Saudi Arabia's healthcare sector, offering new investment opportunities to companies in the sector, including the supply of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and medical services to patients, Tawfig Al Rabiah, Minister of Health, said in the opening remarks of an Invest Saudi report. 

According to Rabiah, the Ministry of Health has developed strategic objectives in line with Vision 2030 to ensure that investors in the sector are supported by the appropriate regulatory frameworks for sustainable growth, digitization, and increased efficiency.

The ministry has also inked many private sector partnerships to create a robust healthcare ecosystem.

"We have begun the groundwork for a stronger private sector by signing agreements with leading international companies to provide dialysis services to 8,000 beneficiaries through 63 centers throughout the kingdom, with a value of nearly $2 billion for a period of five years," Al Rabiah said. 

"We have also established partnerships with private companies to build and operate medical cities, hospitals, and primary care centers with an initial investment amount exceeding $3.7 billion," he added.

The Ministry of Health plans to offer 74 primary health care centers in various regions across the kingdom, with initial investments of nearly $266 million. It is also working to set up two medical cities with a capacity of 1500 beds in Aseer and Al Jouf, with an initial investment volume of approximately $1.6 billion, the minister said.

In the coming years, e-health, air medical transport, nephrology care, mental health, and rehabilitation will be at the center of Saudi Arabia's efforts, Al Rabiah said.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)

 seban.scaria@refinitiv.com 

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