Dubai: The UAE health care market is seen at $19.5 billion (Dh71.6 billion) by 2020, indicating an annual average growth of 12.7 per cent from 2015, according the GCC health care report from Alpen Capital.

“The UAE government is extensively expanding and upgrading its health care systems to match international standards. There are number of mega health care projects under way in the country, which [are] expected to massively improve the health care infrastructure and standards in the country,” said Sanjay Vig, managing director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.

The UAE accounts for 26 per cent of the total health care spending by GCC governments. Per capita health care spending in the UAE stood at $1,569 in 2013, the second highest in the GCC.

The out-patient and in-patient markets are projected to reach $12.1 billion and $7.5 billion, respectively, by 2020.

The country is likely to see an increase in the demand for hospital beds, at nearly 3 per cent every year, to more than 13,800 beds by 2020.

According to Alpen Capital report, the GCC health care market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1 per cent, from an estimated $40.3 billion in 2015 to $71.3 billion in 2020. An growing population and rising cost of treatment are the primary factors driving this growth.

From an estimated $24 billion in 2015, the out-patient market is forecast to touch $42.4 billion in 2020. The in-patient market is anticipated to grow from $16.4 billion to $28.9 billion during the same period.

The health care market in each GCC country is anticipated to expand by 11-13 per cent between 2015 and 2020, in terms of annual average growth rates, while demand for hospital beds in the GCC region is projected to grow at a 2.3 per cent CAGR from an estimated 101,797 in 2015 to 113,925 in 2020.

Investments in the GCC health care sector are supported by both government investment and an increasing private sector participation.

The roll-out of mandatory health insurance schemes in all the countries is accelerating the growth of the health care sector

“In order to ease the growing pressure on the health care system, the GCC governments are injecting huge funds, as well as encouraging private sector participation to build hospitals and clinics, upgrade the existing infrastructure, and match the quality of services offered in developed countries,” said Sameena Ahmad, managing director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited.