The demand for healthcare services in Saudi Arabia has soared, as seen by rising healthcare budgets and investments throughout the last few decades, particularly in the last ten years. One of the unique aspects that makes healthcare and life sciences sector vital in the Kingdom is its commitment under Vision 2030 goals to increase the quality of life for the Saudi population. In fact, Health Sector Transformation Program has been announced as one of the Vision Realization Programs (VRP) to ensure continued development of healthcare services in the Kingdom.
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Medical Services Sector
of the population, including those in rural areas, will be covered by medical health services by 2025
increase in elderly people by 2030
CAGR healthcare services sector growth from 2017 to 2029
Sizeable market with untapped potential and significant growth ahead
- The Saudi healthcare services market is expected to grow significantly, with a CAGR of 5.8% from 2017 to 2029, owing to population growth, rising chronic disease prevalence, and attractive profit margins.
- The Saudi population is expected to reach 39.5 million by 2030. By the same year, the population of vulnerable people aged 65 and up is expected to grow by 7%, to reach nearly 5 million people
- Saudi Arabia has more than 504 hospitals, 78,000 hospital beds, and 5,000 health clinics. In comparison to other developed countries, the Saudi healthcare market is underserved, especially in rural areas, where hospital beds per 10,000 people are 22 vs 29 in developed countries
Rising prevalence of chronic conditions related to age, lifestyle, and genetic makeup
- Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of diabetics in the MENA region, at 16%, and is expected to surpass 24% by 2045.
- Obesity is the third most common case in the MENA region, with 35% of Saudi adults and one out of every four children being obese - obesity is expected to reach over 55% by 2022.
- In the MENA region, Saudi Arabia has the fifth highest number of cancer patients. In 2018, 24,000 new cases were reported, with the number expected to double by 2040.
- Cardiovascular diseases account for 45% of all deaths in Saudi Arabia.
Strong government commitment and ambitious targets to develop the sector
- Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 recognizes healthcare as one of the country's most important sectors and is committed to developing it. Saudi Arabia aims to increase the life expectancy from 74 years in 2016 to 80 years by 2030.
- The Health Sector Transformation Program, launched in 2021, aims to improve access to health services, improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services, promote health risk prevention, and improve traffic safety.
- The transition of the Ministry of Health from a service provider to a regulatory body has highlighted the importance of continuity of care and the expansion of post-acute and specialized healthcare facilities to meet rising demand.
Unique investments enablers
- Saudi Arabia has adopted a clear, non-discriminatory, consistent, and flexible legal and regulatory frameworks for healthcare services.
- The nation has a high financial literacy regarding health insurance and its importance
- Financial incentives are provided for healthcare infrastructure development, training of healthcare employees, payment of Saudi salaries and tax exemptions.
- The Kingdom offers a robust and skilled human capital pool.
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