Saudi healthcare spending set to top $26bn this year

Monday, 19 August 2013
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Healthcare spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by 10.3 percent this year. (File photo: Reuters)

Saudi Gazette, Riyadh

Healthcare spending in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by 10.3 percent to SR98 billion ($26.1bn) this year, compared with SR88.9bn in 2012.

The Saudi government has announced that major projects involving healthcare, along with other key sectors such as education, will get additional funding and strong governmental focus in the coming months.

At the same time, the Kingdom’s IT expenditure is projected to increase by around 6.6 percent to SR15.3 billion this year.

These parallel developments are expected to open up major opportunities in healthcare-related cloud computing adoption and investments in smart systems, among others.

CompuGroup Medical (CGM), the leading IT healthcare solutions provider in the Middle East and Turkey, said that more IT systems, equipment and services are needed to sustain the local and regional healthcare boom.

CGM added that the Kingdom is well-positioned to leverage technology to optimize national healthcare capabilities given its status as the largest information and communications technology (ICT) market in the Gulf.

This keeps pace with the global trend of highlighting IT solutions to achieve development in various fields.

“There are several elements that are driving the growth of IT healthcare solutions in the Kingdom, such as a large and affluent population that is willing to support the adoption of leading medical systems and practices, a robust ICT sector, and increasing government focus on improving the quality of life of residents and citizens.

“Industry should capitalize on such an ideal environment to boost IT healthcare research and development and strive to sustain the growth of this important niche segment,” said Thomas Reitmayr, Vice President – Business Development, CGM CEE.

“Numerous factors indicate that the Saudi healthcare sector will continue with its rapid growth in the coming years, the most telling of which is the growing desire among the current population to improve their well-being.

“With surging healthcare demand, strong government support, a robust economy and a thriving ICT community, the Kingdom is right on track to become a regional and global leader in IT healthcare systems development and adoption as well,” added Mehmet Bilginsoy, General Manager, CGM Middle East.

In order to maintain the network of healthcare facilities, the Saudi government has implemented a two tier health service plan. Tier 1 includes a network of primary healthcare centers and clinics established throughout the Kingdom. These clinics and centers are backed by a network of secondary care hospitals and specialized treatment facilities (Tier 2) located mainly in major urban areas across the country.

As one of the leading eHealth companies in the world, CGM has introduced quite a number of scalable technology products and solutions that continue to play major roles in enhancing the quality and extent of healthcare across the Kingdom.

Among CGM’s key offerings are the CORTTEX Integrated Hospital Information Management System Environment, the CGM CNG Clinical Information Systems, and the iOS-based iCNG Mobile Applications.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on August 19, 2013.

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