The healthcare sector in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remains strong, according to a statement from the Arab Health conference in Dubai, amid reports that the coronavirus had infected four people in the UAE.
Investment in the GCC healthcare market, estimated to be worth $70 billion, is strong and expected to grow at 5 percent annually, said the statement from the The Healthcare Investment Forum at the Arab Health conference.
“Although there is enormous room for growth, the GCC is only spending around half of what mature markets spend on healthcare,” said Jad Bitar, Managing Partner and Director of BCG in Dubai, during the morning session of the third day of the four-day health conference.
Bitar cited shifts in strategic focus to disease burden and geograpgic footprint, the outsorcing of operations, and the ability to build capacity as some of the factors creating investment in the sector.
The health conference is taking place amid heightened fears of the coronavirus, known by many as corona, spreading across the globe. The virus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since killed more than 130 people and infected more than 6,000 globally, most of them in China.
On Wednesday, UAE news agency WAM reported that four members of the same family had been infected in the country.