Future Healthcare

Look abroad to boost earnings

Private healthcare operators have ‘significant opportunities’ for growth outside of private medical insurance if they look to the Middle East and put effort into these markets.

Elizabeth Boultbee

Healthcare consultancy company boss Elizabeth Boultbee said the main government purchasers of treatment abroad – Kuwait, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – had spent on 80% more patients since 2012; a rise from 9,738 to 17,742

The small national populations in each country cannot support the development and maintenance of tertiary level services and treatment is mainly bought from the UK, Germany and the US.

But she warned that developing the potential required a long-term strategy that influences all the decision-makers involved in the patient pathway – local doctors, hospital specialty boards, overseas treatment boards, the patient and their family, and the relevant embassy or health office in the UK.

Ms Boultbee said about 85% of sponsored patients would already have a named hospital/consultant before they left their home country, so most activities needed to take place in the local country.