Published On: Mon, Aug 3rd, 2015

GCC lags behind OECD countries’ healthcare systems

Current healthcare facilities across the region lag behind those of other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, according to healthcare director of AECOM, Carl McKenzie.

In an interview published in August edition of Construction Business News Middle East magazine, McKenzie said that while healthcare infrastructure varies between Gulf States, with strong investment in cutting edge facilities, the number of professional health workers and bed capacity per capita, still fall behind OECD benchmarks.

“Overall, Gulf States spend on average 3% on healthcare, compared to 11% in OECD countries,” he commented.

In Qatar, a country with one of the smallest populations in the GCC, the investment in health and social development has resulted in dramatic gains in the health and well-being of the people. The proportion of health expenditure excluding private sector was 3.1% of GDP.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia – the most populous GCC country – healthcare spending comprises 11% of the total government budget. Yet in terms of healthcare as a percentage of GDP, Saudi Arabia still falls behind many developed nations, according to data from Colliers International.

The OECD – whose member countries include Europe, the US and Australasia among others – uses 17 indicators to benchmark the quality of healthcare infrastructure. These include: accessibility, efficiency and safety.



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