The healthcare market is growing at a steady pace, driven by the modernization of infrastructures and the growth of domestic demand for medical care.
Confirmation of the sector’s development potential
The sector’s potential for development has been confirmed as the annual amount of the budget devoted to healthcare has been growing continuously in recent years; EUR 1.08 billion in 2012, EUR 1.12 billion in 2013 and EUR 1.3 billion for 2014. Nevertheless, this sector presents a chronic shortage of practitioners and medical infrastructure: 152 health centers were forced to close in 2014 due to insufficient staff.
Major disparities between the medical equipment available in hospitals and private clinics
Morocco counts 141 hospitals, 400 private clinics, 2,600 health centers and dispensaries. The country’s four university hospitals (Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Marrakech) recorded 35% of national hospitalizations (1.6 million hospital days) at the end of 2013 and performed 35% of surgical procedures.
There are major disparities between the facilities of public hospitals and private clinics, depending on the geographical area. We note 1 hospital bed per 1,000 inhabitants, 1 doctor per 12,000 inhabitants, 1 health center per 10,000 inhabitants and 1 nurse per 1,000 inhabitants. In addition, 54% of direct household expenditure is on the health sector, with DH 400 (EUR 40) spent per year and per inhabitant on medicines.
Nearly 90% of medical equipment is imported, mainly from Europe. 85% of the demand comes from the public sector (purchase of new equipment) and 15% from the private sector (purchase of second-hand equipment).
The activity of the university hospitals should experience strong growth in the coming years with the four university hospitals that are being built as part of the implementation of the reinforcement of health structures. Two university hospitals will be located in Tangier, one in Agadir and another in Oujda.
A Health Hub on Africa
In addition, with approximately 250 agents and listed distributors (although only 40 players dominate the market), the country is positioning itself as a center for re-export to West Africa. Morocco’s vocation to become a regional hub is gradually being confirmed.
Medical device sector developments In Morocco: the medical device market is growing despite a multitude of obstacles such as slow administration, weak local production and competition from Chinese products. Although not as well known as the pharmaceutical industry, the medical device market is the most profitable sector in Morocco’s overall health care sector, benefiting from the surge in investment in the field of medical care. The turnover of the medical devices sector in Morocco is estimated at 3 billion dirhams and is growing by 7 to 10% per year. Morocco produces only about 10% of its needs and the market is therefore characterized by imports. The public sector represents about 70% of the market and the remaining 30% is shared between the private sector (20%) and direct sales (10%).
Currently, the private sector is developing more and therefore taking more market share. Public investments are changing the situation and boosting the market from time to time. For example in 2017 when the state invested 1 billion dirhams for the upgrading of regional hospitals.
Human Resources needs
The international recruitment firm Phénicia Conseil is solicited by Moroccan companies for recruitment needs, particularly in the medical equipment distribution sector. The profiles sought are company executives who combine technical and commercial skills.
In the medicine sector, medical representatives are highly sought after by international groups specializing in the manufacture of respiratory drugs, antibiotics and vaccines.