National Level Opportunities
Firms looking to develop partnerships with the MoH and take advantage of business opportunities in Iraq will need to develop thoughtful strategies in order to penetrate this uniquely challenging but rewarding market. Local partnerships are particularly important when pursuing business opportunities with the MoH. In addition to standard business registration practices, medical and health-related goods also require registration in Iraq.
Healthcare Sector Private Investment Policy
Iraq's health sector investment strategy is based on the following principles:
- Promote private sector involvement though opportunities to invest in healthcare facilities, and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing.
- Privatize state-owned healthcare facilities.
- Privatize state-owned pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
- Attracting modern healthcare consulting service providers to promote system and practice modernization.
Health Care Investment Opportunities
There are 208 state-owned, government-run hospitals, with 40 situated in Baghdad. The Basrah Children’s Hospital, coming on line in late 2009, will have full surgical and oncology services available in early 2010. There are also approximately 2,000 Private Heath Clinics (PHCs) scattered throughout Iraq. Generally, all primary care and preventive medicine is provided for free. PHCs provide a limited range of service. Power outages are frequent and can last for many hours. Diagnostic equipment is not generally available. The MoH is seeking investments including:
- Establishment of greenfield healthcare facilities including integrated medical cities & complexes, hospitals, medical laboratories, and primary healthcare clinics.
- Management and operation of privatized state-owned hospitals.
- Management of specialized health centers through direct contract.
- Providing general healthcare consulting services including advising on healthcare systems modernization.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry Opportunities
Several opportunities exist for investors interested in Iraq's pharmaceutical and medical device industry. The MoH has outlined the following three areas of opportunity for investors:
- Establishment of greenfield pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing facilities.
- Privatization of existing pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing and distribution companies.
- Providing consulting services for updating The Public Company for Marketing Drugs and Medical Appliances Management's (KIMADIA) enterprise systems (includes systems for testing, registration, warehousing, distribution, and marketing).
Other Investment Opportunities
- KIMADIA is Iraq’s pharmaceutical and medical device supply and resupply system to MoH and other GoI facilities. Several suggestions for privatization or selling KIMADIA have arisen over the past two years but have met resistance. Pharmaceutical accountability and control lags behind modern standards. A nationwide logistical system for pharmaceuticals and medical equipment/supplies is urgently needed.
- The KIMADIA website, www.kim-moh.net/index1.html, provides detailed information for potential investors. MoH KIMADIA retains a domestic market share of 40% of Iraq’s medical supplies and seeks an investor to manage and operate their plant. The goal is to rehabilitate and upgrade KIMADIA's plant with modern technology in return for a share in production.
- Emergency response and ambulance support is ill-defined and uncoordinated throughout Iraq. National standards of response are not always applied, and training, qualifications testing, and a certification process is necessary.