Population: Almost 34 million
GDP*: $111.09 Billion USD
Language: Arabic (official) and Berber, French, Spanish
The healthcare industry in Morocco is a growing sector that is full of opportunities for future investment. The government remains the primary healthcare provider since 70% of the population goes to public hospitals. There are five University Hospital Centers in Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Oujda and Marrakech and six military hospitals that are located in the large cities such as Casablanca, Rabat, Fez and Marrakech. In addition, there are 137 hospitals in the public sector. The private sector healthcare market is growing rapidly as there are more than 360 private clinics, and 9,661 physician specialists in Morocco.
The government spends around 5% of the gross domestic product on the healthcare sector; the budget allocated to the healthcare sector this year is 14.11 billion MAD. The Healthcare System is comprised of AMO (Mandatory Health Insurance), which is divided into “La CNSS” (private) that reimburses up to 70% and “La CNOPS” (public), that reimburses up to 80%. Additionally, Le Régime d’assistance médicale (RAMED) is a healthcare system based on the principle of social assistance and national solidarity in favor of low income individuals. There is also a separate healthcare system that is solely dedicated to the military.
Moroccans base business on trust and mutual respect. However, U.S. exporters should be patient; procedures take more time in Morocco, as compared to the United States. Also, U.S. firms should work closely with a locally-based agent or distributor, so that they can provide U.S. firms with essential knowledge of key contacts, customs regulations, new laws that come into force and specific opportunities. U.S. firms should also fully understand the regulatory environment and procedures before jumping into the market to avoid problems. Also, Morocco’s American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) can organize collegial and informal meetings in Casablanca with other Amcham members to gain insight into the evolving market and learn how to best position product sales for the market. In addition, the U.S. Commercial Service in Morocco provides counseling to determine the best market entry strategy for any given U.S. company/product/service such as for joint venture partners, resellers, agents and distributors.
Current Market Trends
The medical device market is estimated at $236 million with $181 million constituting imports. The market is forecast to grow at a 7% in the period of 2013-2018. Medical device imports supply approximately 90% of the market. As the local medical device manufacturing industry remains at an embryonic stage, most sectors of the market rely on imports. Medical equipment prospects are increasing for public and private sector opportunities for American firms. The Moroccan government is planning to build 5 university hospitals (CHU) by 2018, as well as develop emergency and mobile hospital units. The import of refurbished equipment is no longer allowed for both public and private entities. A new law banning the purchase of second-hand /refurbished medical devices and equipment was submitted in 2015 and came into force in February 2017. This is expected to improve the quality of medical equipment and offer a better quality of medical care to patients treated in Morocco.
Currently Morocco does not manufacture medical equipment. The local production is limited to medical disposables. United States, Germany and France are the main suppliers. Recently Italian products have been well received and accepted by the local population thanks to their good quality and attractive price.
However, there is an increasing demand on Turkish, Chinese and Korean equipment.
Public hospitals represent 85% of the demand and the private clinics 15%. By 2018, the Moroccan government is planning to achieve their goal of building five University Hospitals in Tangier, Agadir, Rabat, Laayoune and Beni Mellal which will be a huge opportunity for American companies to create partnership with Moroccan companies and export American medical equipment. Also, Morocco is planning to develop emergency and mobile hospital units which could be a good opportunity for American firms. Disposables and specialty medical devices are good prospects for U.S. firms. Sub-sector best prospects include magnetic resonance imaging and ultra-sonic scanning equipment, x-ray equipment, emergency aid equipment, monitoring and electro-diagnostic equipment, computerized tomography equipment, and ICT (E-medicine, equipment and related software).
To proceed with the registration of medical equipment, the MOH (ministry of health) requires the following:
1. Authorization of the manufacturer to permit a local company the registration and market the products.
2. EC Certificates Full Quality, FDA Certificate or FSC (Free Sales Certificate).
3. ISO 13485 certificate or equivalent.
4. EC Declaration of conformity of Equipment with components and accessories
5. Labels or nameplates Photos (Equipment and his accessories), (signed & stamped).
6. User manuals
7. Technical file: The Product Data, Maintenance Manual, Technical Specifications, Qualifications, Tests of controls, Final Test Report , Flow Chart, Manufacturing Processes Description,...
8. PDF color catalog (original)
The average time to obtain a certificate of registration is six months.
The CNSS (caisse nationale de la securite sociale = National Social Security Fund) runs the AMO (Assurance maladie obligatoire = compulsory health insurance) for private sector employees and pensioners. This system, which came into force on August 18th 2005, was introduced in 2002 by Law No. 65.00, which establishes the Medical Coverage Code. Membership is mandatory for private companies and for all the employees.
The AMO guarantees the reimbursement of a part of the care costs, the other part being borne by the insured.
The current care basket covers the following services:
The reimbursement rate is set at 70% and can be of 90% for serious and debilitating diseases requiring long-term care or particularly expensive when the related services are provided in public institutions. The reimbursement of dental prosthesis is made up to a ceiling of 3000 MAD every 2 years.
In parallel, the private insurance companies have different offers that vary from one company to another and from one client to another.
The main languages spoken in Morocco are French and Moroccan Arabic, which provides a challenge for English-speaking companies. Another potential problem for U.S. firms is that Morocco is seen as a relatively small market for medical equipment, and there are many regulations that have the ability to hinder trade. Also, some customs procedures are not uniformly applied. Bribery, corruption and requests for payoffs are another issue that U.S. investors may be confronted to (When foreign bribery prevents you from competing fairly on the basis of price, quality or service). In addition to these barriers, Morocco had tariffs placed on some medical equipment imports:
Procurement & Tenders
Who is responsible for regulating the healthcare sector in Morocco?
The ministry of health based in Rabat regulates the healthcare sector in Morocco. Codes and processes are set by a particular section. Also all the registrations happen within the ministry. The current minister of Health is Dr. Houssain El Ouardi who is an intensive care anesthetist.
Are regulations subject to change on a regular basis?
Basically with the arrival of every new minister, the first thing they look at is the regulations and sometimes changes may occur every 4 to 8 years.
Are there any U.S. companies in the healthcare sector in the marketplace?
There are many and in different sub-sectors: medical devices, consumables and pharmaceutical products. Also, a lot of companies choose to select a local partner instead of investing and opening their own offices.
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Halima Berrami
Position: Commercial Specialist
Phone: 212 5 22 64 20 81
Healthcare spending (including investment)
... as percent of GDP
Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals UN:
Number of hospitals
Number of surgical procedures
0.62 physicians /1,000 population
Life expectancy men/women
66.9 years/74.8 years
22.7 deaths/1,000 live births
Percent of population older than 65
4.8 deaths/1,000 population
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