By – Hajare El Khaldi
Rabat – In its latest report, BMI Research asserted that Morocco’s health budget will be boosted in 2018. This growth will also aid in expanding the medical device market.
The Moroccan government will reportedly continue to increase funding and investments in health infrastructure. The aim is to be able to cover health insurance for 90% of the population by 2021.
According to the research firm, the budget dedicated to the Ministry of Health (which plateaued in 2017) will increase to MAD 14.8 billion (USD 1.4 billion ). This marks a 3.5% increase.
Capital investment is set to reach MAD 2.6 billion (USD 250 billion ) —an increase of 6.3%, which will enable funding of ongoing healthcare infrastructure and high profile projects. One of these projects includes the construction of the new University Hospital of Laayoune, located in the Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra region.
The 500-bed hospital, due to be completed by 2022, has a total budget of MAD 1 billion (USD 100 million ), and includes a MAD 15 million (USD 1.5 million ) contract with the engineering firm “Novec.” Novec is responsible for the design, monitoring, and control of the construction done by the Ministry of Equipment (in August 2017).
The 2018 budget will also fund ongoing construction and equipment for new university hospitals in Tangiers and Agadir. The new Ibn Sina Hospital and Trauma Centre in Rabat, however, will both receive separate funding from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
In order to expand access to healthcare, the 2018 budget will likely include improvements in the supply of drugs and medical devices for healthcare services operating within the Ramed health insurance plan. The plan funds treatment in public hospitals and health centers for low-income patients.
In order to address the chronic shortage of healthcare personnel (which has led to the closure of some primary care services and caused delays in opening new hospitals), the budget will reportedly hire an additional 4,000 staff members.
BMI Research maintains that the medical device market will grow by 7.9% (Compound Annual Growth Rate) during the 2017-2022 period. This will bring the total value to MAD 4.5 billion (USD 433 million ) by 2022.
“In the meanwhile, the market will benefit from the economy remaining a relative outperformer in the MENA region. Investor interest in the country (as an export-oriented manufacturing hub for the European market, and increasingly also to West Africa) bodes well for Morocco’s underlying growth in the upcoming years,” reads the report.
With the implementation of the universal health insurance, more people will be eligible to receive treatment, and to benefit from health infrastructure development programs.