Healthcare Decisions - Middle East
There was no comprehensive data found on how people in the Middle East make healthcare decisions and how they prioritize these decisions. Some related insights found revolve around the following factors that have a significant impact on healthcare-related decisions in the region: food choices, modesty concerns, privacy considerations, touch boundaries, and ingestion of certain prohibited substances. In Saudi Arabia, those with high-maintenance medical requirements, such as cancer patients, typically decide to be treated at international locations such as London.
We started our search by looking for directly available data on how people in the Middle East make healthcare decisions. We looked for this information in various sources such as in health-related sites like NCBI, SCIRP, Healthline, and other related sites; health-related articles such as those found in Health, Very Well Health, and other relevant sites; government sources such as AHA, Department of Health, and other relevant sources. Based on this search strategy, we found some general reports that provide some related information on healthcare choices in the Middle East. However, the reports found do not outright contain how people in the region choose their physicians.
We also tried to look for surveys that might contain related information on healthcare decision-making practices in the region. We hoped to gain some significant insights from these surveys that can help in deriving some conclusions on how people in the Middle East deal with health-related concerns. However, this approach did not yield any information on any such surveys or related findings.
We then expanded our search by looking for outdated healthcare priorities or other figures that we can relate to the current healthcare situation in the region. We also included our search for any applicable healthcare-related statistics in the whole EMEA region or in specific countries or religions. Based on this approach, we found some helpful insights on the landscape in the region that can potentially drive healthcare-related decisions. As 93% of the people in the region are Muslim, we have also included some healthcare insights that are practiced in the religion as they are the majority.
The following are the helpful insights that we found on potential drivers of healthcare-related decisions in the area.
Healthcare Decisions - Middle East
When providing healthcare to Muslim patients, healthcare professionals will need to know more about their distinct spiritual and cultural norms. Some of the main considerations when administering treatment and that might also impact the decisions of these patients include the following: food choices, modesty concerns, privacy considerations, touch boundaries, and ingestion of certain prohibited substances such as alcohol. Furthermore, religion can also impact heavily general family decisions, family relationships, healthcare choices, and the utilization of available care. Hence, practitioners who will need to work in the Middle East should have more awareness on these concerns.
As an example, physicians and patients of opposite sexes need to follow certain speaking and interaction protocols. This might drive the decision to choose only those healthcare professionals that are of the same gender.
The Middle East region is also seen as regressive in terms of using real-world evidence (RWE) in their healthcare-related decisions due to deeply-embedded traditions. However, this is now being overturned due to the increasing healthcare-related costs, changing demographics, rising technology impact, and other trends that might impact healthcare decisions in the region.
In Saudi Arabia, those with highly complex medical requirements, such as cancer patients, opt to be treated in international locations such as London.
In Egypt, most of their foreign population, and those with higher incomes, prefer to have their treatment in other countries in the region such as in the UAE.
In Kuwait, those suffering from lifestyle-induced diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, choose to be treated in other countries such as the UK, due to the superior facilities there.