MOROCCO – Morocco’s slow progress in updating regulations for the private healthcare sector causes many irregularities and conflicts, Competitiveness Council reports.

According to the Competitiveness Council, a state-owned council in charge of overseeing the country’s market, patients are often the victim as they are burdened with even higher bills especially when they have health insurance.

The report sounded the alarm on a number of issues that are causing the sector to operate sub-optimally.

“The lack of legislation regulating private hospitals is a prime conclusion the Competition Council has reached,” the report details, stating that private hospitals are crucial to the market offering of private healthcare.

The council maintains that the existing laws are “scattered” as there are six different texts. The public sector’s perception of private hospitals as a minor contributor to the healthcare market is also hindering progress in regulating the sector. 

Private hospitals in Morocco also suffer from a lack of investment. “Law 13.131 opened the doors for private hospitals to attract investments. However, many private hospitals still suffer from the rarety of capital given the relatively recent date of the reform.”

According to the report, 43% of private hospitals in Morocco have a capital of MAD 1 million (US$95,000), and only 13% have a market capitalization of more than MAD 10 million (US$950,000).

The council’s analysis of the private healthcare market shed light on how irregularities within the sector are often closely linked to the challenges facing its growth.

A prime example is that private hospitals are illegally hiring staff from the public sector to offset the lack of trained medical professionals.

The absence of trained medical professionals is causing many regions in Morocco to have absolutely no private hospitals; the report reckons that five regions out of 12 in Morocco hold 79% of private hospitals and 82% of hospital beds.

In addition to hindering the creation of private hospitals in disadvantaged regions, the lack of trained medical staff is diverting labor away from public hospitals and reducing the efficiency of the public healthcare infrastructure, as medical workers in the public sector often work illegally in private hospitals.

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