World Bank urges GCC governments to boost healthcare spending

March 3, 2014 2:09 am

The GCC governments have been urged by the World Bank to reform their healthcare sectors from systems that only treat sickness to ones that also preserve and promote health, Saudi Gazette has reported. The bank urged the region to rethink the way healthcare is financed and organised to align incentives for improved access to, and continuity of appropriate care in primary care settings. “The GCC countries have made important strides in improving the health standards of their populations but the government spending on health care remains low and does not meet people’s expectations,” said Bassam Ramadan, World Bank country manager in Kuwait. “The GCC governments spend an average of 7% of their annual budgets on healthcare compared to the 17% spent by OECD countries.”