November 8th 2011
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With the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the expected introduction of a more liberal democratic government, it is time to take stock of Libya’s position in the medical market economies of the region, examine how it might develop and assess the impacts for medical technology companies.
A market of contrasts
There is no shortage of money in Libya. In 2010, GDP was US$79.2 billion, equal to US$12,096 per capita. This is one of the highest levels of per capita GDP in Africa, and is broadly comparable to that found in Russia. Growth, however, is dependent on erratic international oil markets, and financial abuses by the former governing elite meant that investment in the provision of health services could have been better.
Even with this background, it is true that the oil wealth has enabled Libya to create a reasonably comprehensive healthcare system, but spending – while high in African terms – remains low in comparison with other oil-rich countries of comparable income, such as Saudi Arabia. There is no private insurance as such, so local people are largely reliant on the public hospital system. There is a well-equipped private sector, which caters for the wealthy local population and workers in the oil industry. There is considerable scope for expansion and modernisation in the future, and as the market is nearly totally dependent on imports, this signals a market with real potential.
Where to from here? A doubling of the market?
Libyan market potential must been seen in two phases. Phase one will see the market expand and imports rise as reconstruction and restoration of damaged health infrastructure takes place. Looking further forward in a second development phase, Libya has the opportunity to use its oil wealth to create a sophisticated and advanced health sector in the style of the Gulf States, assuming a degree of political will and ongoing political stability. The latter is far from a certainty, but the prospects appear far brighter post-Gaddafi than under his rule.
Critical analysis based on original materials and novel forecasts give a complete overview of the Libyan health market:
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Reports of interest: