Market Intelligence
Healthcare West Bank and Gaza

West Bank and Gaza Healthcare Emerging Opportunities

The Palestinian market of West Bank and Gaza has no in-country production of healthcare products except for a few manufacturers of generic pharmaceutical products. The population is estimated at 5.16 million with population growth of 3.3% and 38% under 14 years old.  Nominal GDP in 2020 was estimated at $14.02 billion while per capita GDP was $2,914. 

The total number of public, private and NGO-run hospitals is 81 with an approximate capacity of 5,939 beds. The size of medical equipment and supplies market is estimated at $100 million and of the leading products in demand are medical capital equipment, medical supplies, lab equipment and disposables and equipment and supplies related to the treatment of COVID 19.

For high quality medical and laboratory equipment, the United States, Germany, UK and Japan are the primary sources of imports; some products also come from Israel and Turkey while disposables typically come from India and China.

OPPORTUNITIES AND BEST PROSPECTS FOR U.S. EXPORTERS

The U.S. share of the market is roughly 15% of the total and there is room for increased U.S. exports as American-made products are valued for their quality.  There are no import duties on U.S. made goods entering West Bank and Gaza including healthcare products however they are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) at the rate of 16%.

U.S. exporters face few problems with getting paid as there are many Palestinian and Jordanian banks that operate in the area, and they have correspondent banks agreements with U.S. counterparts. 

A short list of Best Prospects include:

Hemodialysis machines and accessories, surgery equipment, cardiology products—both diagnostics and interventional, medical imaging, ultrasound machines, orthopedic instruments, hospital beds, and autoclaves.

CHALLENGES:

The sector faces tough challenges related to the Palestinian Authority‚Äôs inability to pay local Palestinian suppliers in due time.  Prior to shipping, approvals must be obtained from both the Palestinian and Israeli Ministries of Health for any medical product that is not already registered with both sides.

COVID 19:

The Palestinian Healthcare system faced numerous difficulties at the early days of the pandemic, but now the pandemic is better managed with the assistance of World Health Organization (WHO) and other international donors; as a result, there has been an increased demand for COVID related equipment and supplies such as ventilators, surgical masks, testing kits and hospital disinfecting products.

SIGNIFICANT GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE MARKET:

Most of the Palestinian population relies on medical services provided by public hospitals that are run by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) under a general health insurance program. Palestinians in Gaza are exempt from paying insurance fees and receive full health services at no cost while people in the West Bank pay a nominal annual fee.

The Ministry oversees the provision of all medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals, while costs are mostly covered by international donors such as World Bank Emergency Service Support program, the EU, UN agencies, the Islamic Bank for Development, among others. The annual budget of the Palestinian MOH is estimated at $500 million while spending on medical equipment and pharmaceuticals amounts is approximately $200 million.

HOW TO ENTER THE MARKET AND KEYS TO SUCCESS FOR U.S. EXPORTERS:

The most effective way to enter the market is to assign an importer/distributor with experience and outreach who can provide critical after sales services. It should also be noted that the Palestinian MOH procures its needs by issuing local tenders where only prequalified Palestinian distributors can participate in.

For more information about the Palestinian Healthcare market please contact Issa.Noursi@trade.gov