(MENAFN- Gulf Times) A study by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) highlights the growing role of the health sector in the development of the country's economy.
The study was conducted in the framework of the MEC's efforts to enhance the efficiency of economic sectors and increase their competitiveness by analysing the performance of different sectors, the ministry said in a report yesterday.
The study indicated that between 2012 and 2016, the health sector saw considerable growth in added value, which increased from about QR7.5bn in 2012 to around QR11.4bn in 2016. This amounted to a total increase rate of 52% for the whole period.
This resulted in an increase in the contribution of this sector to the GDP at current prices from 1% in 2012 to about 2.1% in 2016, the MEC said.
The study revealed that the health sector witnessed significant growth between 2012 and 2016 in its real output, ranging from 11.2% in 2012 to 14.5% in 2013, and reaching 6.3% in 2016. This exceeded the average annual growth rate in other economic sectors, the report observed. This also resulted in a rise in the contribution of the health sector to real GDP from 1 percentage point to about 1.43 percentage points in 2016.
In 2016, hospitals contributed with around 34% of the added value in the health sector, followed by non-specialised medical clinics with 22%, specialised medical clinics (except dentistry) with 20%, and dental centres/clinics with about 18.5%, the study shows.
The growth in added value was mainly driven by an increase in the number of health facilities, which rose by 45.6% in one year (2016) alone. 'This confirms Qatar's keenness to develop and expand the health sector, the report noted.
Total revenues of this sector rose from about QR1.6bn in 2012 to around QR3.7bn in 2016, achieving a growth of about 130% over the entire period. The highest growth rates were witnessed in 2014 and 2015, at 43% and 56%, respectively.
The study, meanwhile, observed that more health services are needed in view of the country's growing population and this sector provides investment opportunities for private players.
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