Saudi Arabia Seeks Foreign Investment Partners in Shift Toward Healthcare Privatization

Saudi Arabia healthcare officials unveil new opportunities for foreign direct investment in the Kingdom at a recent Boston conference.

Over 300 investment bankers and healthcare executives gathered in Boston at a conference intended to spur interest in private investment in Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector. In response to shrinking oil revenues and a soaring budget deficit, the Saudi government is moving to privatize some of its state-owned and run services, including healthcare. Saudi officials hope that the influx of private capital will increase the competitiveness and productivity of their healthcare system. “Healthcare is high on the list of industry sectors that are undergoing change in the Kingdom,” says GHCi CEO and U.S.-based global healthcare executive Steven Thompson. “The Healthcare 2030 plan demonstrates the commitment of the government to meet the expectation of the people in the Kingdom for better healthcare.” Currently, more than 80 percent of healthcare in Saudi Arabia is supplied by government providers, but the government is seeking to privatize the operations of many of its hospitals and primary care centers. The Saudi government will retain ownership of its 279 hospitals and 2,300 primary care centers, but outside corporations, many of which are expected to be foreign-owned, will manage day-to-day operations. —AG

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