UAE spends about 3.5% of GDP on healthcare: Expert

Tabbara explained that healthcare market opportunities, especially new hospital projects in the Middle East and Africa region are also set to grow to $68.8 billion in the coming year

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

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The UAE government has allocated Dh4.9 billion (8.4 per cent of the total budget) to healthcare and community protection in the federal budget for 2022-26.
The UAE government has allocated Dh4.9 billion (8.4 per cent of the total budget) to healthcare and community protection in the federal budget for 2022-26.

Published: Sun 8 Jan 2023, 3:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 8 Jan 2023, 3:21 PM

The UAE spends about 3.5 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, with about 70 per cent from public spending and only 30 per cent from the private sector, said Dani Tabbara, chief operating officer of Al Tamimi Investments, a leading investments firm in the UAE.

He noted that the UAE Government has allocated Dh4.9 billion (8.4 per cent of the total budget) to healthcare and community protection in the federal budget for 2022-26.

“The UAE is an important market for healthcare in the region. As one of the most economically developed and diversified markets in the Middle East, the UAE has a strong healthcare infrastructure driven by robust technologies,” said Tabbara.

“In addition, the government’s commitment to digital healthcare is one of the key drivers of growth within the country’s healthcare market.”

According to the expert, the market for digital health technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) tools in healthcare is forecast to top $20 billion in 2023

The global healthcare industry is expected to grow by $563.59 billion during 2023-27, accelerating at a compound aggregate growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8 per cent during the forecast period.

Tabbara explained that healthcare market opportunities, especially new hospital projects in the Middle East and Africa region are also set to grow to $68.8 billion in the coming year.

Dani Tabbara, chief operating officer of Al Tamimi Investments, said 2023 will see the healthcare sector adopt new digital technologies. — Supplied photo
Dani Tabbara, chief operating officer of Al Tamimi Investments, said 2023 will see the healthcare sector adopt new digital technologies. — Supplied photo

The market for digital health technologies, particularly Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) tools in healthcare is forecast to top $20 billion in 2023. According to Residence Research, the global AI-in-healthcare market has reached $15.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to hit $20.65 billion in 2023.

And by 2030, the market will reach $187.95 billion (with an annual growth rate of 37 per cent from 2022 to 2030). In addition, telemedicine, health wearables, and neurotechnology will push med-tech companies to spend more in the next few years.

“2023 will see the healthcare sector adopt new digital technologies. Healthcare companies in the UAE are committed to use cutting-edge health technologies that offer unparallel service excellence and best treatment plans for their patients. This will not only fast track the growth of the industry in the country, but also power its healthcare ambitions,” added Tabbara.

He noted that the UAE’s quick infrastructural expansion, robust governing agenda to protect patients, increasing emphasis on precautionary care, privatization and digital transformation play a key role in boosting the healthcare sector. “In addition, foreign direct investment (FDI) is another important element driving the growth of the industry,” said the expert.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the healthcare sector is rising with 100 per cent foreign ownership. The UAE’s growing reputation as an innovation hub is also attracting startups and entrepreneurs from across the world. Investments in areas like home nursing, telehealth, virtual care, genomics and personalised medicine are testament to this.

According to Joint Commission International (JCI), a US organization that approves healthcare organizations and programs, the UAE is the first country in the world to have more than 200 accredited health facilities, including hospitals, medical laboratories, specialised centers, primary health centers and home health facilities.

With the country stepping into an ambitious progress journey in 2023, the patient’s well-being driven by high-tech solutions will be the core of its plans.

— ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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