Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/07/2014 -- It is unlikely the Qatari government will respond favourably to the 'discrimination policy' grievances voiced by the local private healthcare insurance industry this quarter. These were voiced in response to the government's decision to use one public insurance company in its mandatory health insurance policy. We believe the government is attempting to streamline healthcare services in the country by providing universal basic healthcare services and gradually shifting the financial burden of growing demand for chronic medicines and complex medical surgeries to the private healthcare sector.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: QAR1.52bn (US$416mn) in 2012 to QAR1.76bn (US$483mn) in 2013; +16.1% in local currency and US dollar terms. Forecast revised slightly upwards from Q413 due to macroeconomic modifications.
- Healthcare: QAR13.56bn (US$3.72bn) in 2012 to QAR15.26bn (US$4.19bn) in 2013; +12.5% in both local currency and US dollar terms. Forecast revised slightly upwards due to macroeconomic modifications.
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Risk/Reward Rating: Qatar's risks are particularly low in comparison with the rest of the MEA region, although its potential rewards are dampened by the small market size. Nevertheless, Qatar's high level of urbanisation, rapid population growth and rising prevalence of chronic lifestyle diseases creates an environment in which there is strong potential for market growth. On account of shifts within BMI's Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Rating Index for the Middle East and Africa matrix, Qatar has dropped one position to seventh place in our Q114 matrix, although its score has increased to 53 out of 100.
Key Trends And Developments
The Qatar Development Bank (QDB) launched a specialised competitive financing resource for companies engaged in healthcare businesses in Qatar according to Zawya. The move aims to promote local private healthcare companies. The QDB's new product will provide loans of up to 80% on easy credit terms, with a maximum repayment tenure of nearly 12 years, to healthcare businesses. Through the new facility, QDB will finance a number of healthcare projects.
Local private healthcare insurers in Qatar have criticised the government-imposed compulsory health insurance policy. Insurers are seeking a greater role in the health insurance plan, and are urging the government to allow them to provide mandatory health insurance for expatriates and visitors, according to local news source, The Peninsula. A senior official of Qatar Insurance Company, the country's largest insurer, referred to the system as a 'discriminatory policy' that restricts private healthcare insurers from providing services.
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