The State of Senegal aims to make the health sector a lever for sustainable growth. Senegal has become the West African hub for health services in general. However, medical tourism is not yet sufficiently developed, despite the country's great potential and internationally recognised human expertise.
Senegal stands out from most of the countries in the sub-region, notably because of the quality of its technical facilities and the expertise of its medical resources, both in terms of generalist activities and specialities.
Due to its privileged geographical position and its degree of openness, Senegal has become a competitive investment destination in the health sector.
Nous avons récemment assisté à l’éclosion de plusieurs centres de soins dans des segments de pointe tels que l’imagerie médicale par résonance magnétique, qui est un moyen d’investigation moderne et performant, permettant d’analyser le corps humain dans sa globalité, ainsi que l’exploration fonctionnelle du champ visuel et le traitement au laser des pathologies ophtalmologiques et la chirurgie réfractive au laser, entre autres.
Senegal's expertise in health is widely recognised, with renowned practitioners well versed in the field. Senegal also has an excellent medical faculty that trains nationals from the sub-region and the Maghreb.
Senegal has become a health destination and receives patients from several ECOWAS countries and has considerable assets to further promote its destination in order to attract more health tourists. Among these assets, we can essentially mention its privileged geographical position and its degree of openness, the improvement of the medical technical platform, the opening of several private clinics, a renowned medical corps and finally an excellent faculty of medicine recognised as a reference in Africa and having a preparation centre for the CAMES aggregation.
Thanks to its privileged geographical position, Senegal has several natural advantages to become a competitive investment destination in the services sector, particularly in the health sector. These advantages include: 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, oceanic temperatures (around 25°C), 700 km of coastline, geographical proximity to the main emitting markets, a very rich historical and cultural heritage, a wide range of natural and cultural assets, etc.
We also note the availability of an extremely rich offer in its diversity offering interesting plant resources that can be used for medicinal purposes. The existence of a range of nearly one hundred medicinal plants and know-how in the field of phytotherapy can also constitute a solid basis for developing medical tourism based on our natural assets.
Moreover, the existence of a microclimate producing a feeling of freshness in the Saloum islands, with its islets bordered by mangrove swamps and its numerous inlets, which owe their beauty to the presence of micro-organisms and the high concentration of minerals, has favoured the installation of hotel receptions and picturesque tourist camps offering various body and relaxation treatments (mud baths, thermotherapy, etc.)
In terms of human resources, Senegal's expertise in health is widely recognised, with renowned practitioners well versed in the task. Senegal also has a medical faculty which trains nationals from the sub-region and the Maghreb.
Finally, in terms of infrastructure, a well-developed network of private clinics and specialised centres offering a variety of treatments, as well as diagnostic centres and modern analysis laboratories, are some of the assets that Senegal can boast.
STRATEGIC POSITIONING OF SENEGAL
Clinics specialising in various fields of medicine, receive many nationals of the sub-region, particularly Mauritanians, Gambians and Malians, for their medical care. Advanced areas such as medical imaging, nephrology, mammography, biomedical analyses, etc. have begun to grow rapidly in the last decade.
For a long time, the treatment of certain diseases, particularly renal or cardiac, was not very developed in Senegal. However, we have recently noted an increase in the medical technical platform, particularly in so-called "invasive" technologies, to visualise, for example, the arteries of patients and treat coronary artery disease.
Just for certain diagnoses, Senegalese patients and those from the sub-region were obliged to go to the Maghreb, Europe or the United States. The opening of several specialised clinics in Senegal, and specifically in Dakar, is part of a process of offering quality care, reducing the costs of treating patients and limiting evacuations abroad, and contributing to the objective of making Dakar a sub-regional medical hub to attract and attract patients from the West African sub-region.
The country is today a very competitive investment destination in the health sector. However, in order to broaden its offer in this segment of services, Senegal must ensure a move upmarket in this sector, which will make it possible to attract investors in advanced sectors (medical biotechnology, cancer institutes, pharmaceutical analysis laboratories, etc.). In order to consolidate its position as the preferred centre for health services in the sub-region, Senegal must now broaden its range of opportunities to make it a more attractive destination.
The health sector, with its high added value, focused on biomedical research, clinical trials, pharmaceutical and phytopharmaceutical products, finds in Senegal the ideal conditions for its development.