In a report entitled “Morocco and medical devices in West Africa”, Oxford Business Group, in collaboration with Promamec, deciphered the pre-pandemic situation in the Kingdom as well as the post-pandemic industrial strategy facing the Kingdom.
In its first part entitled “Morocco: Pre-pandemic situation”, the report reviews the Moroccan public landscape, achievements, challenges, private public supply, resources, medical equipment, growth rate, trade and others.
Based on the health map of the Moroccan health ministry before the pandemic, until 2019, the report shows that Morocco had 149 hospitals at that date, with a capacity of 23,931 beds. In addition, there are 10 psychiatric hospitals with a capacity of 1,454 beds, and 113 public hemodialysis centers. The private supply, which is experiencing significant development according to the report, with a total of 359 clinics in 2019, has a capacity of around 11,000 beds, or 29% of the total supply.
But this remains below the regional average, estimates the report, in comparison with other North African countries such as Egypt or Tunisia which stood out in 2017 with respectively 1.43 and 2.18 beds per 1000 inhabitants, while Morocco had 1. Regarding the medical profession (public and private), Morocco had 0.7 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants in 2017, well below the 2.9 doctors of the OECD average, specifies the same source.
As for the medical equipment sector, it was estimated in 2019 at 3 billion dirhams by the Moroccan Association of Professionals of Medical Devices, of which 60-70% through public tenders, and an annual growth rate of 7- 10%.
According to the report, this activity has nevertheless long been marked by import dependence with $ 303 million in 2019, according to the International Trade Center, and insufficient added value.
Morocco’s main suppliers of medical equipment remain mainly Germany, China and the United States, Orford Business Group said in its report, noting that the corresponding common import duties vary between 2.5% and 40%.
But not only. The report notes that the Moroccan medical device market is dominated by three operators, one of which is Promamec, founded in 1981 and specializing in the production and marketing of medical consumables, ventilators and hospital equipment.
Until 2019, the market was moreover all the more characterized by a local production of perfectible technicality such as compresses, plaster and surgical threads, then in particular restricted to textile protective products intended for health professionals such as coveralls and overshoes, the report points out.
Over the 2017-2019 period, the report estimates that the annual compound growth rate of 11% of national imports of medical equipment proves the growing opportunities to be seized, especially for local manufacturers.
Morocco: Post-pandemic industrial strategy
In this area, the report recalls the shortage of products, such as masks, gloves, respirators and resuscitation beds, experienced by the world during the Covid-19 crisis. And while Morocco has not escaped this situation, it has been able to demonstrate responsiveness and industrial innovation, the report said.
In 2020, Morocco has become an African pole of medical devices, according to the report, given growing needs, the significant financial windfall of the Covid-19 Fund and the authorities’ desire to encourage local production, in particular through the establishment of restrictive import procedures.
Added to this, continues the same source, the diversifications and conversions made by a number of textile and aeronautical manufacturers who have mobilized to meet medical needs. An overall dynamic from which Morocco has been able to benefit welcomes the report.
When it comes to mask production, Morocco stands out in the Oxford Business Group report. It emerges that the country has gone from a mask deficit, to exporting 50% of its local production during the first months of the pandemic, citing a statement by the Minister of the Economy of Morocco, Moulay Hafid Elalamy, who indicated that “we started from nothing to produce today 20 million masks per day”.
In the same vein, the report looks back on the participation of other actors in the creation of 100% Moroccan medical equipment, in particular a resuscitation bed that meets international standards, and SIRCOS, an artificial respirator.
Indicators that anticipate, according to the report, a forecast for growth in the short and medium term, noting that the added value of the secondary sector should grow by 4.1% in 2021, after a contraction of 6.3% in 2020.
A growth in public procurement expected in the health sector
In its report, Oxford Business Group predicts a growth in public procurement in Morocco and a more sustained business volume of medical equipment manufacturers, caused by the “good vaccination campaign”, led until then by Morocco in addition to the policy import substitution enhancing national preference and the larger budget granted in the 2021 Finance Law to health (+ 81.5% since 2011, or 6.5% of the overall budget).
In addition to these growth prospects, demand from the private sector specifies the report, which recalls in this sense the plan to generalize medical coverage from 2022, in addition to the opening since 2015 of the capital of medical clinics to investors. other than doctors through the promulgation of Law 113-13, which has already resulted in 25 prior authorizations to create clinics in 2017-18.