The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) health sector is expected to drive in a demand for 70,000 more hospital beds by 2016. Looking to address this, the Kingdom is currently witnessing increased construction activity for medical facilities and infrastructure, including the current construction of five new medical cities and 132 hospitals. The vibrancy of the segment has resulted in the Saudi Arabian healthcare market being worth over SAR 108.59 billion (USD 29 billion). Under its strategy to subsidize to local health care sector, Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC) has been extending its support as part of its contributions to the sector’s development.
Saudi Health Exhibition and Conferences 2015, the latest edition of the largest health care event in Saudi Arabia, will be held from May 18 to May 20, 2015 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The show, which is being organized under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Health and in cooperation with Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, is aimed towards generating strong interest from leading local, regional and global health care companies.
Industry reports have shown that in 2005, KSA spent SAR 48.76 billion (USD 13 billion) on healthcare—25 per cent of which was supplied by the private sector. Public healthcare spending saw a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2 per cent between 1999 and 2005. Experts are predicting that spending is expected to reach SAR 75.02 billion (USD 20 billion) by 2016.
An official from REC said, “Amidst population growth and lifestyle changes in Saudi Arabia, the demand for essential healthcare services is on the rise. The Kingdom is seeking to increase physical healthcare capacity across its entire geography, including border areas and remote regions while also looking to provide qualified manpower for these new facilities. Accordingly, as a key player in the Saudi market, we are contributing to the development of the sector by means of our exhibitions, which open the opportunities for health care industry players to interact and network for the better improvements of the sector. The Saudi Health Exhibition and Conferences 2015 show is aimed towards enabling regional and global health care representatives, dealers, suppliers, and service providers to discuss growth initiatives.”
Meanwhile, an official from Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions has stated that, “We are contributing to a stronger culture of healthcare research and development and trying to promote innovation across the coming Saudi Health Expo 2015. Another factor that may bolster healthcare standards in Saudi Arabia is the promotion of innovation through investments in research and development, which is currently lagging international standards and we believe this show can help or contribute in achieving these goals.” Besides rolling out healthcare services across Saudi Arabia’s regions and improving the quality of care, the Kingdom’s ten-year strategic healthcare plan also includes goals to bolster the workforce, sustain the Ministry of Health’s supervisory role, diversify healthcare funding and encourage the private sector to deliver healthcare services.