The move towards quality healthcare as well as an increase in demand for preventive care and digital health will contribute to a massive 60 percent growth of the UAE’s healthcare sector in five years, according to a new study by MENA Research Partners, MRP, a leading research company in the region.
The current AED64 billion (US$17 billion) market will surge to over AED103 billion (US$28 billion) in 2021, driven by a shift in demand for preventive care, a rise in specialist medical services, and more efficiently integrated healthcare solutions, according to the report.
Medical tourism and mandatory insurance will also contribute to the sector’s growth, as will a potential for high growth within specific medical device and pharmaceutical sub-sectors.
The country aims to operate a world-class healthcare system and become among the leading countries, not just regionally, but internationally in terms of quality of healthcare, according to the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda. To achieve that, the agenda emphasises the importance of preventive medicine and seeks to reduce lifestyle-related diseases to ensure longer, healthier lives for citizens.
"The healthcare sector in the UAE is witnessing structural shifts and, as a result, is changing fast to adapt to the demands of a younger, more health-conscious population asking for preventive care rather than curative care and, along the way, is more engaged in its own well-being," said Anthony Hobeika, Chief Executive Officer at MENA Research Partners.
"Being a digitally-savvy population that enjoys one of the highest digital connectivity in the world, the new generation is redrawing the blueprints of the future of healthcare in the UAE. It is looking for a more personalised and specialist healthcare. While doing this, it is moving more towards interaction and self-management which is aided by the ever-growing digital technology in the sector," he explained.
While the healthcare market has been growing at over 10 percent year on year since 2015 and is expected to continue on this trajectory, findings reveal that there will be an upsurge of 15 to 25 percent in some subsectors across three pillars of the market: healthcare providers (currently accounting for at 76 percent of the total market), medical devices (estimated at 6 percent), and pharmaceuticals and life sciences (estimated at 18 percent).
In its report, MRP sized up more than 20 sub-segments and identified a number of niche areas that health providers need to focus on over the next few years. The research also shows key mega trends shaping the demand and delivery of healthcare.
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