A growing reliance on emerging markets has caused many companies to re,evaluate the Middle East. With estimated population of 280 million, it is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Unlike many other global regions there is still a window of opportunity for companies that have not yet explored the region to become involved.
The Middle East healthcare market offers companies numerous opportunities for long term growth and is expected to continue growing over the next few years, compared to the low growth predicted in the mature markets of the US and Europe. Reduced public investment at home and a hostile environment of healthcare cost containment is making the Middle East more attractive to Western healthcare companies.
As living standards improve, the Middle East will face an unprecedented surge in demand for healthcare products and services in the next few years. Socio-economic development, characterized by increasing income and access to modern amenities and services, has led to changes in the population's nutritional and lifestyle habits, increasing the prevalence of lifestyle-related medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Consequently, Healthcare providers (mainly governments) across the Middle East have already made an overt commitment to improving healthcare for their citizens in order to meet their heightened expectations for more and better quality services and modern medicines. These expectations, together with growing populations and better-informed patients, are driving investment in hospitals and medical facilities, and pushing up demand for healthcare services, innovative drugs and the latest medical technologies.
In fact, a potent combination of high population growth, rapid economic growth and openness to global capital, expertise and innovation will make the Middle East a major growth centre for the healthcare market over the next few years.