£810 / $1295 / €985
The UAE’s economy is heavily dependent on the price of oil. Per capita GDP is very high, ranked among the top 20 in the world, and in 2011 is estimated at US$51,285. Real GDP growth of just 3.6% is expected for 2011, but this is projected to reach 6.2% in 2016.
As a percentage of GDP, healthcare expenditure is low, but in per capita terms, spending is among the top 20 in the world. Overall health expenditure is estimated at US$8.7 billion in 2011, equal to 2.4% of GDP. Per capita spending is US$1,248.
The federal government has plans to introduce a national health insurance scheme throughout the country over the next three years. This scheme has already started in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
A wide range of public health facilities are run by the Ministry of Health, including hospitals, Primary Healthcare Centres, School Health and Maternity & Child Health Units. In addition, there are facilities run by other public sector bodies, including the police and the armed forces. The private sector is far more active in the provision of primary care than hospital services.
The UAE is committed to improving its health sector and as such, is investing a significant amount in the construction and renovation of health facilities. In addition, in August 2007, the Ministry of Health announced details of the ‘2008-10 Strategic Framework’, which focused on enhancing regulatory practises, improving the level of scientific, technical and administrative personnel focus and the upgrading of health facilities.
Imports account for an estimated 94.8% of the market in value terms and growth is expected to remain strong over the forecast period taking into account the country’s limited domestic production capability. The market, estimated at US$672 million in 2011, is projected to grow at an average 10.0%, reaching US$1,084 million in 2016.
Based on collated monthly data, imports to year-ending December 2011 reached a new high of US$616.9 million, a rise of 4.9% over the previous corresponding 12-month total to December 2010. All categories posted positive growth except for other medical devices, which fell by 1.0%. It is worth noting that not all countries have reported their figures for 2011 at point of writing so we can expect an even higher total once these are finalised.
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