A new Colliers International report revealed that the healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia is undergoing evolution on the back of rapid advancements in technology and research and development (R&D), in line with global and regional trends. However, COVID-19 has exposed the vastly diverse structure of healthcare systems and increased the importance of R&D and the provision of specialised healthcare, according to the report.
Director of Healthcare, Education and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Mansoor Ahmed, noted that the Long-term care (LTC), rehabilitation and home care (HC) are amongst the main focal points for diversification and enhancement of the healthcare system in the Gulf country. A key driver is the changing demographic profile through a lower fertility rate and higher life expectancy. Therefore, the population above 60 years is predicted to rise from 5.5% in 2020 to 11.0% by 2030.
“This shift will have a significant impact on disease patterns and the type of healthcare services required. Almost 80% of a person’s healthcare requirements typically occur after the age of 60 years which increases the demand for LTC, rehab and HC,” he noted.
Mansoor added that the Ministry of Health is expected to spend close to US$71 billion over five-years ending in 2020, in line with the government’s Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP).
“As per Colliers International estimates, KSA by 2030 would require an additional 20,000 – 22,000 Long-term Care (LTC) and Rehabilitative beds. However, to achieve OECD average standards, the country would require 28,000 to 30,000 additional beds by 2030,” Mansoor concluded.
Last November, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) announced the implementation of a uniform model for elderly care in the GCC nation in cooperation with the private and non-profit sectors. In Colliers’ opinion, this initiative is likely to improve the efficiency and quality of services provided to the elderly in the kingdom with better utilisation of tertiary care, LTC, and rehab facilities.