The healthcare sector in Saudi Arabia is the largest in the Middle East, and both healthcare services and training have become top priorities for the Saudi Arabian Government, with 13.5 percent of the Government’s spending devoted to the sector. With increasing demand and increased yearly health care spending, the sector has emerged as an area of opportunity for economic growth in the Kingdom. We project that the contribution of health services to Saudi Arabia’s GDP will increase by over 13 percent through 2025, with the Eastern Province, Al-Jouf, Riyadh, and Makkah experiencing the greatest near-term sector growth. As our forecasts indicate, demand in the sector is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3 percent while the CAGR of supply is 1.3 percent. As the gap in supply and demand for healthcare services continues to grow through 2030, so will opportunities for private health care providers. Saudi Arabia is evaluating the current structure of its health care system in the context of issues such as a high prevalence of lifestyle diseases, preventative health initiatives, and innovative models of health care delivery. Obtaining human resources in terms of the trained healthcare professionals needed to meet rising demand will present a challenge. Both private sector and public sector providers have hired international staff, but developing the domestic capacity to meet these needs has become a priority. Labor productivity is expected to see continued growth, suggesting that national reforms have shown enough effectiveness to hire more Saudis in the private sector without diminishing productivity. Multinational corporations in medical products and services provide on-the-job training perspectives in highly skilled areas of work. A rising number of Saudi graduates from medical college programs, and training programs created through joint ventures will help to mitigate challenges in human capital.
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