MENA region suffers acute shortage of healthcare facilities in major cities

New report highlights that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), is falling behind other developed economies in terms of healthcare infrastructure provision

A report recently realised by JLL real estate consultancy highlights that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is falling behind other developed economies in terms of healthcare infrastructure provision, with more hospital beds needed across the region.

According to the report there is a shortage of hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities across MENA, and countries where governments are placing an increasing priority on medical tourism, there is an urgent need to improve provision.

Citing the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) figures, the report notes that, per capita spending on healthcare in the UAE is only 17 percent of what is being spent in Switzerland, and MENA has an average of 1.9 hospital beds per 1,000 population in comparison to an OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) average of 4.8 beds.

The report highlights that in order to maintain the current provision rate of hospital beds per person, 10,500 additional beds were needed in the five major cities across the region – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo – over the next five years, which equates to 70 additional hospitals, assuming a typical ratio of 150 beds per hospital.

If the region were to increase the provision of hospital beds in line with the current OECD average of 4.8 beds per one thousand people, a huge 470,000 additional beds would be required, which equates to 3,130 new hospitals to be developed across these major cities.

The report also noted that the region also has an ageing population, with the number of people over 65 years predicted to increase by 4.4 percent per annum to 26 million over the next five years with additional healthcare provision required.