Lebanon Businessnews News

$571 per capita
in health expenditure
Spending tops $3.3 billion
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Healthcare spending was valued at $3.3 billion, accounting for 6.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to Business Monitor International (BMI) Research.

Sleiman Haroun, Chairman of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, said: “These figures are very logical in that they include expenditures inside and outside hospitals, in addition to laboratories, pharmacies, and physician clinics.”

According to Haroun, healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP is constantly decreasing. It represented 12 percent of GDP ten years ago, decreasing to eight percent in 2010, to reach the current six percent.

“This is due to better control on drug prices, and because the hospitalization tariff is not increasing at the same pace as the increase in GDP,” he said.

BMI forecasts the market to grow 4.8 percent this year, reaching $3.5 billion.

Haroun said that the hospitalization tariff is increasing at around two percent yearly, and surgery prices did not change for 17 years. The Syndicate met the Minister of Health last week, who promised to discuss this issue in the coming session of the Council of Ministers.

According to BMI, spending on healthcare is expected to reach a value of $4.1 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of five percent.

Health expenditure per capita reached $571 in 2015, according to BMI. “This number is very acceptable,” said Haroun. This number is still too low compared to Europe where it reaches $2700 per capita, although local hospitals use the same kind of medicines, machines, and medical supplies, he said. The only thing that differs from Europe is the salaries of hospital employees.

Pharmaceutical sales reached $1.64 billion in 2015, representing 49 percent of healthcare expenditure, according to the BMI research.

According to the Lebanese Pharmaceuticals Importers Association (LPIA), this number is exaggerated as the pharmaceutical market was estimated at $1 billion last year. A source at LPIA said: “The numbers indicated by BMI do not mention the source and the unit of measurement.” LPIA said that the international unit of measurement they apply is the Net Selling Price to market, or the wholesale price.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jun 21, 2016
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