The UAE private sector is facing a scarcity of 9,000 hospital beds and needs more investment into the sector, industry experts have said.

The Abu Dhabi Government’s decision to make private insurance compulsory means an increasing number of patients are opting to get treated within the country rather than travelling abroad for cheaper hospital care, Gulf News reports.

The global standard in healthcare is one hospital bed for every 250 people but in the UAE this figure jumps to one per 555.

ETA Star Healthcare, a company that integrates hospitality and healthcare, had planned to supply 1,000 hospital beds to the market in five years but has suspended its plans due to poor funding, Gulf News reports.