In 2014, the Commonwealth Fund, a health think tank, compared the healthcare systems of 11 wealthy countries. Its findings offer insights for the Arabian Gulf countries, which are seeking to reform their own health care in response to rapidly growing and ageing populations.
Health care in the GCC has traditionally been dominated by public treatment facilities. Demographic changes are driving an expected annual growth rate of 12 per cent in the industry for the period 2015-20. Falling oil prices – combined with a desire to leverage the potentially efficiency-enhancing properties of market competition – have made all GCC governments target a larger private sector role for health care as part of their economic visions. What regulatory challenges are authorities likely to face as the role of market forces expand?
Almost one in five UAE residents between 20 and 79 years old suffers from type 2 diabetes, a figure that the government calls "shocking". The economics of type 2 diabetes exposes just how challenging it is to design insurance and treatment plans for dealing with the disease.
In 2015, the GCC healthcare economy was valued at US$40 billion and that figure is expected to grow to US$71 billion in 2020. The prevailing system of heavily subsidised health care needs reform because of rising medical costs – what lessons can the Arabian Gulf governments learn from the Trumpcare-versus-Obamacare drama?
Trying to maximise the benefits that an economy can get from natural resources poses various challenges, and sometimes, those challenges are so big that natural resources transform from a blessing into a curse. This can happen in many ways, including the threat of armed conflict, a fate that the GCC countries have fortunately avoided despite the abundance of oil in the region. But what is the precise mechanism by which this form of conflict arises, and how do policymakers protect their economies from it?