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Healthcare and InsuranceTop-Tier Services for Your Well-Being

The Saudi government has prioritized developing its healthcare infrastructure to keep pace with its needs as the country advances its ambitious vision for 2030 and beyond. For sustainable growth, it has adopted an insurance-based healthcare model for the provision of healthcare services with increased participation from the private sector.

Healthcare is free for Saudi citizens and public sector workers. Most non-nationals arrange private health coverage. Arranging health insurance is integral to your move to Saudi as some kind of health insurance is obligatory for everyone in Saudi Arabia.


Here’s everything you need to know about how healthcare works in the Kingdom, the types of health insurance available, and your eligibility.

Overview of Healthcare and Healthcare Insurance in Saudi

Both public and private healthcare are good quality in Saudi Arabia. The country’s health care system serves over 31 million citizens and residents and millions of visitors during Hajj and Umrah via medical cities, university and military hospitals, specialized hospitals, primary care centers, and other facilities.


Key facts:

  • The Ministry of Health provides 60% of healthcare services
  • The government spent $36.8 billion on healthcare and social development in 2022, 14.4% of the Kingdom’s yearly budget.
  • Saudi Arabia has 61.4 on the Health Care Index, a measure of the overall quality of healthcare infrastructure, services, and resources.
  • 26 health insurance firms operate in Saudi Arabia.


Healthcare is free for Saudi citizens and public sector workers. Most expats use private healthcare. Health insurance is obligatory, and the Council for Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI), which oversees the Saudi insurance system, mandates that all private sector companies provide health insurance coverage for their workers and dependents.


You’ll need to provide proof of health insurance to get a residence permit, and you can take out additional private policies as desired or necessary.

How to Register for Private Healthcare

Registration should be done through your employer and will culminate in a health insurance card that you can use for private healthcare services and facilities, including doctors, hospitals, and therapy.


While there is no standard procedure, you will most likely need to provide:

  • Your passport or other valid photo ID
  • Proof of address
  • Your residence permit or visa


Private healthcare offers its users shorter waiting times, some treatments unavailable elsewhere, and better access to English-speaking staff. Furthermore, insurance premiums are competitive across the Kingdom, with some plans available for under $2000 per year, and medications that are heavily subsidized.

How Private Healthcare Works in Saudi

Health insurance provided by an employer is typically based on a co-payment system, whereby you will be expected to pay something toward your treatments or care, the amount depends on your policy.


Health plans vary in comprehensiveness and price. Check yours carefully to ensure it covers everything you anticipate, such as dental work or maternity costs, and your financial contribution will be what you expect.


More affordable policies may not be accepted by larger, more popular, or more reputable hospitals and clinics, so double-check this aspect of your health insurance coverage.


If your insurance package doesn’t cover all your needs, you may be able to negotiate a more tailored package. Alternatively, you can buy add-on coverage to fill any gaps.

Finding a Doctor in Saudi

There are many doctors and specialists in the Kingdom. Popular specialisms include:


  • Cardiology
  • Ear, nose, and throat specialists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Orthopedics
  • Urologists


To find a doctor, you can use the following services:


  • Your country’s embassy
  • Your health insurance firm
  • The CCHI website

Health Services

The Kingdom delivers varied health services across various means and initiatives. The following include some of the most well-known and widely used.

Sehatty

Sehhaty is the Ministry of Health’s unified platform which facilitates secure information sharing and through which you can access various health sector entities in Saudi Arabia.

937

937 is a free direct line that will provide you with health information, advice, and instructions, as well as medical consultations.

997

A primary number for emergency ambulance services, 997 provides rapid response and free emergency transportation.

Coronavirus Testing

Citizens and residents can book appointments for Coronavirus testing at fixed or mobile locations via the Sehhaty app.

Coronavirus Vaccination

Also through the Sehhaty app, you can register to receive the Corona vaccine once you are resident.

Medical Consultation

You can use the Sehatty app to access medical, mental, and psychological consultations from doctors working 24/7.

Psychological and Mental Counseling

The National Center for Mental Health Promotion provides supervised, specialized counseling via the Qareboon app.

Treatment Outside the Place of Residence

The Ministry of Health is responsible for patients’ and their companions’ expenses during their treatment period if undergoing domestic or abroad patient treatment transfer. This service facilitates inquiring about abroad treatment requests or following up on this transaction.

Dispensation of Medicines

Approved commercial pharmacies may distribute medicines via the Wasfaty electronic prescription service.

Digital Health

Developing the Kingdom’s digital health ecosystem is a cornerstone of Saudi’s Vision 2030 transformation. It provides safer and more efficient healthcare throughout the Kingdom via advances in telehealth, cybersecurity, system certification, AI, and analytics.


Accessible via the Sehaty app, the unified health file system, for example, aims to preserve patient information securely while eliminating the duplication of data entry so that healthcare can be delivered more efficiently.

Telehealth

Using IT to facilitate communication among health practitioners and between them and their patients makes it increasingly possible for them to provide services at a distance, including medical assessments, examinations, and diagnoses.


To this end, the National Health Information Center call center provides, organizes, and exchanges health information. The medical consultation service connects people with health and preventative care via text, audio, and video chat.

Healthcare for People with Disabilities

The Kingdom has a Disability Code, which is supported by Social Security Law. In addition, the Ministry of Health has initiatives to serve those with disabilities, including a system for prioritizing people with disabilities within health facilities and the We Are With You, which serves the deaf to facilitate communication between patients and doctors.


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