The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) led a U.S. healthcare delegation to Saudi Arabia to attend the Global Health Exhibition (GHE) in Riyadh, October 29-31, 2023. This was the USSBC’s third U.S. delegation to Saudi Arabia in 2023.
The delegation the USSBC brought to the GHE underscores its commitment to contributing to the development of U.S.-Saudi collaborations in the healthcare sector by promoting opportunities to U.S. audiences, especially in areas such as extended care (long term care, rehabilitation, and home care), and introducing new U.S. companies to the Saudi market.
The delegates, Arizona-based Vitality Advanced Healthcare and California-based Guardian Home Healthcare, specialize in home healthcare, wound care, diabetes management, podiatric care, and rehabilitation. The purpose of their visit, their first to the Kingdom, was to learn about the Saudi healthcare transformation, strategy, stakeholders, and identify business opportunities and potential partners who can bring their expertise in the Kingdom.
The agenda of the visit consisted of meetings with USSBC members in the healthcare sector as well as healthcare professionals, clinicians, government agencies, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, universities, industry associations, hospitals, and private sector manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical and medical equipment as well as service providers.
Held under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Health, the GHE aims to bring together the Saudi and global healthcare communities to connect, network, and do business. The GHE gathered 14,000 professionals and generated over $42 billion in business in 2022. The GHE 2023 conference agenda included eight medical tracks focused on topics such as Clinical Labs, Radiology, Nursing, Preventive Health, Healthcare Finance, and Quality of Life.
Saudi Arabia is the largest healthcare market in the Gulf region. The Health Sector Transformation Program, launched by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in 2021, aims to improve access to health services, the quality and efficiency of healthcare services, and promote health risk prevention. Saudi Arabia has more than 500 hospitals, 78,000 hospital beds, and 5,000 health clinics. By 2030, the region needs close to 700 hospitals (99,000 beds spread across government, private and semi-government), long term care centers, and suppliers of services in specialty areas such as oncology and cosmetology. Moreover, the country aims to set up 20 healthcare delivery clusters with the capacity to serve 1-2 million people each.
The Council has been actively promoting opportunities in the healthcare sector for many years. Together with the MOH and GE, the Council hosted the “New Horizons and Opportunities in the Saudi Healthcare Sector” conference in Boston in 2017. Opportunities in the healthcare sector were hosted at the U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forums (organized in the U.S. and Riyadh in partnership with Saudi entities, including the MOH, in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2016). The Council also led U.S. business development missions to the GHE prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitated business introductions for U.S. companies there. In January 2023, the Council hosted the MOH for a discussion on the Saudi healthcare transformation sector and opportunities for private sector participation.