Robust growth predicted for health care sector

The healthcare and medical equipment industries in the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are set for a robust growth rate in the next few years, especially as countries in the region have announced massive plans to build hospitals and advanced medical centers, in addition to expanding their current facilities.
Speaking at a press conference held recently, Ziyad Neil bin Issa, general manager of Agfa HealthCare Solutions in the Middle East, said that the medical equipment market is experiencing growth driven by several factors such as population growth, urbanization, an increase in government healthcare investments, initiatives and strategies, and the increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer.
The Saudi healthcare budget for 2013 reached $27.4 billion and is expected to achieve remarkable growth in the coming years to reach $47.7 billion by 2017.
The Kingdom announced a massive plan to increase the number of hospitals around the Kingdom and incorporate a healthcare digitization plan to help exchange patient information across the country with the aim of providing better health care services to patients wherever they are located and whenever they need it.
Agfa HealthCare Solutions recently hosted a gala dinner for top-tier healthcare professionals at the Belgian Embassy in Riyadh in the presence of the Belgian Ambassador Marc Vinck and Christian Reinaudo, CEO and president of Agfa Gevaert Group, the Belgium-headquartered parent company of Agfa HealthCare Solutions, in addition to a group of dignitaries.
The Belgian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia has recently concluded a series of business development meetings with the Ministry of Health and key market players to further promote Belgian healthcare solutions and development plans for the local market.