5.00 AM Tuesday, 5 March 2024
  • City Fajr Shuruq Duhr Asr Magrib Isha
  • Dubai 05:21 06:34 12:33 15:53 18:26 19:40
05 March 2024

Al Habib will invest $3bn in the healthcare sector in two years

By Shashank Shekhar
Saudi Arabia-based Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group plans to invest $3 billion (Dh11bn) in the next two years, Group Chairman Dr Sulaiman Al Habib told Emirates Business.

He said revenues last year stood at SAR2bn (Dh2bn) and will double this year.

“Our revenue almost doubled last year. We expect  growth this year also,” Dr Al Habib said.

He said the group plans hospitals in Pakistan, India and Malaysia and the Middle East. “In the next six weeks we will open a hospital in Riyadh that will specialise in orthopedics,” he said.

Dr Al Habib Group signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia-based Al Faisaliah Medical Group yesterday.

The group will buy $150m equipment for its Cardiac Centre in Saudi Arabia. Mohammed KA Al Faisal, President and CEO of Al Faisaliah Group, which holds a majority share of the medical equipment market in Saudi Arabia, wants GCC countries to increase spending in the healthcare sector.

“The share of healthcare spending in the GCC stands at three to four per cent of the GDP. The average in the United States is 15 per cent, while the global average is eight per cent,” Al Faisal said. He said GCC countries should double or triple their investments in the health sector. Al Faisal said his group plans to broaden its base in the Middle East.

Identifying acute shortage of skilled manpower and dearth of private investments as the key obstacles facing the GCC healthcare system, Alpen Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank, said in a report released the last year that large-scale reforms are needed in the sector.

It estimated the total healthcare market in the GCC at $18bn in 2008, which is projected to rise to about $47bn–55bn by 2020.

Alpen Capital said about 46 million patients received treatment in 2008 in the GCC adding that the share of the private sector in healthcare is 25 per cent.

The report identified low private sector participation, sub-optimal health infrastructure availability and acute shortage of human resource for all medical services as major obstacles for growth in the region.

Alpen Capital called for attracting private investments in the sector and for establishment of a healthcare regulatory body.

“GCC healthcare groups have a strong potential,” Dr Al Habib said.