RIYADH: Saudi Arabia plans to build medical facilities worth $13.8 billion by 2030, according to Faisal Durrani, Knight Frank partner and head of research in the Middle East.
“Vision 2030 emphasized the public realm, quality of life and livability of Saudi cities. Wellness and wellness are at the core, with $13.8 billion worth of medical facilities set to be built by the end of the decade,” Durrani told Arab News.
The spending is part of a larger plan to invest $66.67 billion in the Kingdom’s health infrastructure and increase private sector participation to 65% by 2030, targeting the privatization of 290 hospitals and 2 300 primary health centers.
The Kingdom allocates about 14.4% of its 2022 budget to health care and social development, which amounts to $36.8 billion, the third largest expenditure after education and the military, according to Omnia Health, a global medical directory based in Dubai.
With life expectancy in Saudi Arabia expected to increase from 76.4 to 81.8 years by 2050 and the Kingdom’s population expected to reach 39.4 million by 2030, increased investment in health infrastructure and innovation are needed to drive strong growth in the Kingdom’s healthcare sector, the Medical Directory reported.
The long walk to secure healthcare
The Kingdom has invested in health clusters across the Kingdom, increasing the number of internationally accredited hospitals, doubling the number of primary healthcare visits per capita from two to four, and expanding digital innovation in healthcare. healthcare, Omnia Health said.
According to Colliers International, an investment management entity, the Kingdom will need 20,000 additional hospital beds by 2030 to cope with shortages and meet the needs of its growing population. The figures are based on the Kingdom’s rapid expansion plans to accommodate major infrastructure projects.
“Riyadh alone is expected to see its hospital bed capacity increase by nearly 6,600 beds by 2030, the largest increase in the Kingdom,” Durrani said.
Additionally, another industry metric suggests that a community needs four to six beds per 1,000 people over the age of 65, implying that the Kingdom will need 6,400 to 9,600 beds dedicated to care. long term.
This demand is expected to grow to 41,200 to 61,800 LTC beds by 2050, Colliers reported.
“It is estimated that Saudi Arabia will need 1.64 to 3.05 doctors and nurses per 1,000 people to provide healthcare services in 2030,” Omnia Health said.
Digital turnaround strategy
The Kingdom is expected to be the fastest growing digital health market in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with the government allocating $1.5 billion to healthcare information technology and digital transformation programs.
Saudi Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel said at the opening of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society’s digital event last year that digital technologies were one of the essential tools to deal with the pandemic.
He helped develop the first interactive map of COVID-19 data, providing accurate statistics and using AI to analyze data and make national strategic decisions.
“Another important objective is to highlight the importance of health information technology and its influential role in improving performance efficiency, service quality and optimal use of resources”, did he declare.
Powered by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center in Saudi Arabia, a leading biomedical and clinical research center, uses high-performance computing to power its complex research into a potential treatment for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
KAIMRC required diligent analysis of structures within viruses. In addition, the team needed specific simulation tools and robust computing solutions capable of capturing large amounts of data and running applications smoothly and efficiently.
“Oracle was able to rapidly deploy a highly advanced computing environment to meet the complex research needs and equip KAIMRC with the tools necessary to address this pressing issue,” Fahad Al-Turief, vice president of cloud, Oracle Saudi Arabia, told Arab News. .
Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G are the factors that are transforming the health sector in the Kingdom. They help monitor patients in remote areas, deliver critical early interventions, and serve healthcare providers to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
According to Omnia Health, 5G will enable new use cases, such as augmented reality surgery, robot-assisted surgery, connected ambulances, post-operative care and remote patient monitoring.
In February, the Ministry of Health launched the Kingdom’s first virtual hospital as part of ongoing efforts to digitize the healthcare sector.
With a growing live network of 130 affiliated hospitals, the SEHA Virtual Hospital has become the largest of its kind in the world. The only virtual hospital to rival it is in the United States, with 43 connected hospitals.
Health Transformation Goals
Launched in 2022, the new health sector transformation program, part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, aims to ensure sustainable health services in the Kingdom and a more efficient and integrated health system.
The program aims to improve access to health services through optimal coverage and equitable geographical distribution, expanding the provision of e-health services and digital solutions.
Based on the project, 88% of the population will be covered by inclusive health services by 2025, and the unified digital medical record system will cover 100% of the population.
A focus on digital health, driven by technology and data, will be at the center of the Future Investment Initiative event in 2022. Key global health players will attend a live edition from October 25-27 in Riyadh King Abdul Aziz International Conference Center.
Under the theme “The Impact on Humanity”, the event will bring together the world’s top CEOs, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs and young leaders to shape the future of international investment and the global economy.