A new poll released by Gallup this week reveals that the majority of nationals and expatriates living in the Gulf are satisfied with the accessibility and quality of healthcare services in the region. The aggregate level of satisfaction recorded compared both favourably with other Middle East and North African countries as well with overall global standards.
According to the survey, six in 10 Gulf respondents claimed to be satisfied with their country’s healthcare services, with scores ranging from the 90 percent favourable response in Qatar, 79 percent in the UAE and 78 percent positive in Oman, to the low of 62 percent positive in Kuwait and 60 percent positive in Saudi Arabia. Breaking down the wider regional field more succinctly, between 50 and 70 percent of residents in Algeria, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Palestine were reported to be satisfied with access to their local healthcare system. These scores were only half as high amongst respondents from Egypt, Morocco, Iraq and Yemen. Yemen scored the lowest across the entire Middle East with only a 21 percent favourable response.
Gulf country governments have been investing heavily in their respective healthcare systems over the past decade to match both their population’s growth in overall numbers and their increased susceptibility to serious medical ailments, with obesity, diabetes and heart diseases proving the most common conditions so far. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of diabetes amongst populations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman is expected to triple between 2000 and 2030. Residents from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also susceptible to similar developments unless more public health education and preventative care mechanisms are implemented. Upcoming investments include considerable subsidies for both national and expatriate residents’ healthcare services, including national health insurance schemes.
It also important to note that many…