At present, there are more than $10bn-worth of hospital projects planned or under way in the region.

Each of these will require several hundred doctors and nurses to run them. Already the GCC states struggle to attract sufficient medical professionals due to a dearth of home-grown talent. Hospitals are reliant on imported labour from the Philippines and the Indian subcontinent in particular.

Many have had to raise wages in the past couple of years amid rising competition for staff. Finding and retaining skilled workers will become even harder for the Gulf states in the future as the number of health facilities increases.

The long-term solution to the staffing crisis is to encourage more locals to take up medicine and nursing as a career. But this represents a major challenge as nursing in particular is regarded as lacking prestige.

Changing this perception will require a great effort on the part of government and schools alike. It will also take many years, if not a generation, to achieve. So the struggle to recruit doctors and nurses will continue for a long while yet.