Middle-income countries’ healthcare sectors to keep rising through to 2024

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Healthcare provision markets of middle-income countries are set to climb at an average annual rate of 5.7% in the next three years, writes Andrew Hillman.

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The healthcare sectors in middle-income countries is expected to outgrow those in high-income countries up until 2024. GlobalData figures show the healthcare provision markets of middle-income countries are set to rise at an average annual rate of 5.7% until 2024, compared to just 3.9% in high-income countries.

Countries with the fastest growing healthcare provision markets between 2018 and 2021 were primarily middle-income, and this trend is likely to sustain in the coming years. Argentina and China are experiencing some of the fastest growth. That said, there are exceptions: the US and South Korea, both high-income countries, have experienced strong growth in their healthcare provision markets in recent years.

Overall, GlobalData figures reveal that most healthcare markets continued to expand during 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The global market is projected to continue to grow over the next three years, but at a slower rate that in recent years, from 2018 to this year.

GlobalData calculates the market value of each country’s healthcare sector by combining expenditure on patient care, medical products, government services, and capital formation. Almost three in every four dollars spent globally in the healthcare market is spent on patient care.

More gradual movement in high-income countries

In contrast, high-income countries, particularly Japan and within Europe, saw more gradual changes to their market values between 2018 and 2021. Japan’s market grew only 5% over this period, while the UK experienced a small contraction of 2% in market size

Nevertheless, despite stagnant markets, high-income countries still have high per-capita market values compared to middle-income countries. China, for example, which has experienced a 15% average annual rise in its per-capita market value since 2018, would require a further 10 years of growth at that level to surpass the UK’s current per-capita market value. GlobalData forecasts that China’s healthcare provision market will only grow by 7.8% each year through to 2024.

As an outlier among high-income countries, the US’s healthcare provision sectors has continued to expand, increasing to a value of $4.5tn in 2021 – 26% higher than in 2018. The US’s continued market growth is striking in the context of its healthcare sectors already accounting for one-sixth of GDP in 2018, a 50% larger share than for any other country for which GlobalData tracks market value in the sector.

Less growth expected in healthcare sectors overall

Nevertheless, over 85% of the tracked countries are projected to experience less growth between 2021 and 2024 than they did during the previous three years. Of these countries, only one – India – is projected to see market growth drop by more than half.

Among countries with increased projected growth compared to recent years, the UAE has the highest expected growth rate: its healthcare sectors’ market value is projected to be 63% higher by 2024.

The healthcare provision sectors of most countries proved resistant to the economic challenges of Covid-19. Of the 40 tracked countries which experienced a fall in their GDP per-capita during the pandemic, only two – the UK and Pakistan – also saw a fall in the market value of their healthcare sectors.