Health Technology and Medical Devices

An Expert's View about Medical, Health and Cosmetics Products in Jordan

Posted on: 23 Sep 2012


_ Medical Tourism 10% of Jordan’s GDP

_ Total imports $74 million US imports market share 30%

_ Number of Arab and Foreign patients who received treatment in Jordan increased by 10%, 26,000 – 50,000 Libyans in Jordan for healthcare

_ Medical Accountability Law

_ Used/Refurbished Equipment not prohibited

_ Required USFDA, CE mark or Japanese certification

Market Demand

Jordan’s health care system is regarded as one of the best in the region. Jordan has become a medical tourism destination in the region by offering relatively high-quality care at comparatively inexpensive rates. The boom in private hospitals is keyed to this growing “medical tourism” trade. Medical tourism generates about two-thirds of all the tourism income to Jordan, as patients often travel with their entire families and/or stay for relatively long periods.

Jordan’s health care system uses the latest technologies and has highly educated and well trained doctors. Many Jordanian physicians have received some form of medical training in the U.S., giving U.S. products good exposure. Jordanian doctors are respected throughout the region for their expertise, hence their choices of technology influences buying decision throughout the region. Many doctors in the region are trained in Jordan, and many Jordanian doctors work in neighboring countries. The influence of Jordanian doctors’ choices in medical technology can impact buying decisions in other countries where they practice. This raises the incentive for US firms to enter the Jordanian market.

Primary health care sector reforms underway include renovating and adding medical diagnostic devices and therapeutic equipment; improving the quality of health care and hospital services; upgrading hospital infrastructure; developing and implementing health information systems, and medical research.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10% of Jordan’s GDP goes toward health care, with the public sector financing over 45% of this total. Jordan spent $350 per capita on health in 2010 (more than twice the regional average). By the end of the year 2008, Jordan had 100 hospitals with a total bed capacity of 11,000, and nearly a third of these facilities are in the private sector.

Jordan has the highest per capita rate of health related expenditures after Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Through 44 public hospitals and 60 private hospitals, it provides health care services for its citizens and over 250,000 patients from neighboring countries annually. Imports of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals exceeded $370 million in the year 2008 and are expected to grow to US $ 519 million by 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.01%. . The main drivers for growth include the continuing high volume medicine export activity, generated by Jordan’s domestic drug manufacturers. Additionally, the epidemiological profile of Jordan indicates an increasing burden of obesity and diabetes-related disorders, which will drive spending in overall healthcare.

Medical equipment: Demand for medical equipment and services should increase during the next few years with the increase in the number of government and privately owned hospitals; new equipment for hospitals under construction; renovated equipment to replace existing equipment in functioning facilities; upgrading clinics and health care structures; expanding health insurance coverage; and shifting from older conventional methods to modern treatment methods. It should be mentioned that since 1998, the Ministry of Health has prohibited the import of used and refurbished medical devices into the Kingdom. Medical tourism: In 2004, the MoH set a plan with public and private sectors to generate an annual $1 billion in medical tourism by the year 2010. Medical Tourism experts at the World Bank have ranked Jordan the leader in the Arab region and the fifth in the world as a medical tourism hub. The medical tourism sector annually generates over $1 billion in revenues, as the number of foreign patients from 84 foreign countries seeking treatment in the Kingdom in 2008 stands at over 200,100 per year a 10.5% increase over the previous year’s total of 190,000, outstripping the (8.8%) increase in general tourism arrivals.

A study commissioned by the PHA for the Ministry of Health said 45,000 Iraqi patients have treated by Jordanian private hospitals in 2007, while Palestinians and Sudanese came second with around 25,000 patients from each country, 20,000 Yemenies, 19,000 Saudis, 10,000 Syrians, 10,000 Libyians and other Bahrain, Algeria and Kuwait. The study also showed that more than 1,800 US citizens, 1,200 UK citizens and 400 Canadian citizens sought medical treatment in the Kingdom during 2007. (cost of treatment in Jordan for an American patient, including air travel and accommodation, is only 25% of the cost of receiving treatment in the US.

In the meantime, Jordan continues to make efforts, such as marketing campaign and web promotions, to attract medical tourists from new destinations, including the former Soviet Union and Africa. And in February 2009 Jordan held an international medical tourism congress aiming to develop new strategies to improve and expand the capacity of the private health sector while also seeking opportunities for growth from other markets. Regulatory policies are also being implemented to gain international quality accreditation to provide standardized protocols for global patients.

Jordan’s current medical tourism sector revenues are estimated to reach US$650mn - $700 million by the end of 2010 and the country is keen to reach its ambitious target of US$1bn by 2012. Jordan is aiming to reach the figure of 300,000 medical tourists in 2015, which would bring revenues of US$1.5bn.

Laws: As for improving standards the focus of health care policy in Jordan in 2011 is greater equity and accountability. The government has taken steps in areas such as medical responsibility and e-health care and creating more accountability health care system through the implementation of medical responsibility, accreditation and e-health care regulations. Once of those action was drafting of the medical responsibility law. Expected to pass in 2012, its current working protects patients’ rights, ensures compliance with clinical guidelines and offers reasonable compensation in cases of malpractice. The move should help with garning international accreditation. 14 Hospitals in Jordan have received national accreditation based on reducing medical errors and preventable harm in the hospital and six hospitals have received Joint Commission International (JCI).

U.S. companies are encouraged to appoint technically strong agents and distributors to sell their products and technologies in Jordan, and participate in leading trade exhibitions, such as the “Arab Health” in Dubai, to create market and product exposure. The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) offers programs to introduce U.S. products and technologies in Jordan.

E-Health Care: E-health care is another key government program aiming to ensure the accountability of the health care system. The government of Jordan began a pilot projects in 2011 that hopes to expand to the entire health care system, starting with public hospital. The e-health initiative system will operate the storage, retrieval and updating of the electronic health records (HER) of patients cared for by all the participating health care facilities in Jordan. Ideally the e-health system will reduce danger of errors during treatment. The system will alert the provider of lab results to dangers of drug interactions and it will remind providers when their patient is due for exams or tests.

The ICT Taksforce was created to help modernize and advance the health industry locally, and develop Jordanian companies’ capacity and skills in developing advanced products and services in the healthcare industry regionally and globally.

Furthermore, the Healthcare ICT Taskforce supports the globally relevant cluster of healthcare technology companies in Jordan, contributing to revenue generation, job creation, as well as further enhancing the country's brand as a destination for healthcare services and products.

The Healthcare ICT Taskforce was launched in Nov. 2011 alongside with the World Economic Forum under the patronage of H.M. King Abdullah II and the participation of Cisco Healthcare Solution executives, Int@j, and Jordanian Healthcare ICT companies’ executives.

_ Open platform of Jordanian Health ICT companies

_ Under the umbrella of Int@j

_ Supported by King Abdullah II Find for Development (KAFD) and Cisco Systems

_ Includes all stakeholders in Healthcare ICT in Jordan

The Health ICT Taskforce focus is an:

• Organizing Health ICT cluster under Int@j to promote knowledge sharing and marketing

• Accelerating the growth of Health ICT companies through a platform of cooperation

• Creating a point of reference for global and regional leaders wishing to partner with Jordan’s

• Health ICT cluster

• Building capability of Jordanian Health ICT companies and their teams on trends and new technologies

The Healthcare ICT Taskforce main goals are:

• Developing exports

• Creating Jobs

• Innovative solutions in Healthcare ICT

Cisco has engaged with multiple stakeholders to enhance the competitiveness and capability of Jordan's healthcare technologies sector. At its core are local tech innovators, several of whom are represented by the Healthcare Technologies Task Force, an initiative of Jordan's Information and Communications Technology Association – Int@j, KAFD, with which Cisco has partnered to help in providing guidance, mentorship, and support to its program of work. Cisco's goal from this partnership is to support a platform that enables growth of tech firms that are designing and deploying solutions that enhance the quality of healthcare service providers, whether focused on better quality of care, increased productivity and workflow efficiency, or better access to information.

Projected Taskforce Activities:

Jordan’s Healthcare ICT Taskforce is projected to tackle but not limited to the following key areas:

• Defining regional and global industry opportunities

• Developing mentorship programs to link Jordanian companies with innovative & leading global Healthcare ICT companies

Read the full market research report

Posted: 23 September 2012

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