Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/12/2014 -- This quarter has seen a focus on development and opening of government-funded and private healthcare infrastructure projects aimed at meeting growing domestic demand for healthcare services and positioning the country as a regional medical tourism hub. While the country boasts a number of attractions to gauge foreign drugmakers' interest, we continue to highlight that Oman's small population and limited per capita spending limits pharmaceutical market growth.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: OMR175mn (US$455mn) in 2013 to OMR191mn (US$503mn) in 2014; 9.3% in local currency terms and 10.7% in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with Q114.
- Healthcare: OMR785mn (US$2.04bn) in 2013 to OMR852mn (US$2.24bn) in 2014; +8.6% in local currency terms and +10.0 in US dollar terms. Forecast broadly in line with Q114.
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Oman has limited longer-term commercial potential due to its small population and the fact that the government is responsible for the bulk of healthcare costs, which will increase the need for cost containment in the coming years. In Q214, Oman's Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Rating (RRR) scores 47.1 out of 100, maintaining its position at 11th in the region.
Key Trends And Developments
The Ministry of Health launched the Oman National Stroke Guideline, under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, aiming to improve the quality of care received by patients with strokes. The guideline will be circulated to different health institutions in the Sultanate to improve the provision of stroke care services, prevention and improve patient rehabilitation.
The Omani government announced 2014 expenditure (including investment spending) of OMR13.5bn, of which OMR1.3bn will be allocated to the healthcare sector. The budget allocation for healthcare infrastructure projects is estimated at OMR384mn, with the main hospitals planned by the government this year including Muscat, Suwaiq and Salalah, according to the Times of Oman.
The promoters of the International Medical City (IMC) project planned in Salalah reported they have made significant headway in preparing the groundwork for the actual physical development of the estimated US $1bn scheme. Phase I of the ambitious development, which is hoping to attract heavy medical tourism, is expected to be kicked off in the coming months, according to a key representative of the Saudi-based Apex Medical Group.
The Minister of Health stated that among the major health projects that will be implemented by the public sector, some are already operational and others will be opened within a few months, The Minister of Health said that there are several health projects included in the eighth five-year plan and tenders have been floated for supervision and designing of several hospitals.
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