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Saudi Arabia – Health Service

Saudi Arabia is known for its modern healthcare system and state-of-the-art medical facilities. In this article, we will explore the standard of healthcare in Saudi Arabia, how healthcare is paid for, the services provided by hospitals, follow-up care, and rules regarding medical treatment of foreign visitors.

Standard of Healthcare

Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in its healthcare system in recent years, resulting in modern facilities, advanced medical technologies, and a high standard of care. According to the World Health Organization’s 2020 World Health Statistics, Saudi Arabia ranked 48th out of 195 countries in terms of overall health system performance.

Healthcare Payment System

In Saudi Arabia, healthcare is provided through a combination of public and private systems. The government operates public hospitals and clinics that provide free or low-cost healthcare services to Saudi citizens and residents. Private healthcare providers are also available, and patients may choose to pay for healthcare services out-of-pocket or through private health insurance.

While private health insurance is not necessary for access to healthcare services in Saudi Arabia, it is recommended for expats and visitors. Private insurance may provide access to additional services, such as private hospital rooms, faster access to specialist care, or elective surgery.

Foreign visitors to Saudi Arabia are generally not entitled to publicly funded healthcare services. Visitors are required to purchase travel insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment while in Saudi Arabia.

Services provided by hospitals

Hospitals in Saudi Arabia provide a wide range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialized care. Patients’ families are not expected to provide care for them while they are in the hospital. Instead, hospitals provide a range of support services to patients and their families, including social work, counseling, and education about the patient’s condition and treatment options.


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In addition to medical services, hospitals in Saudi Arabia also provide spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families, with chaplains and counselors available to offer guidance and comfort.

Follow-up Care

After a patient has been discharged from the hospital, they are typically referred to their primary care provider, who is responsible for coordinating their ongoing care. Primary care providers in Saudi Arabia are often general practitioners (GPs), who provide a range of medical services, including preventive care, diagnosis, and treatment of common health problems.

In some cases, patients may be referred to a specialist for further treatment or testing. In addition to primary care, patients may receive follow-up care from other healthcare providers, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and mental health professionals. The goal of follow-up care is to ensure that patients receive the best possible care and support throughout their recovery.

Medical Treatment of Foreign Visitors

Foreign visitors to Saudi Arabia are generally not entitled to publicly funded healthcare services. Visitors are required to purchase travel insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment while in Saudi Arabia.

It is important to note that some travel insurance policies may exclude coverage for pre-existing medical conditions or certain types of medical treatment. Visitors should check the terms and conditions of their travel insurance policy carefully before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

In some cases, visitors may need to pay for medical treatment upfront and then claim reimbursement from their insurance provider later. It is important to keep all receipts and documentation related to medical treatment, as these may be needed to make a claim.

Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system is modern and well-equipped, with state-of-the-art medical facilities and advanced medical technologies. While public healthcare services are provided to citizens and residents, private healthcare providers are also available, and patients may choose to pay for healthcare services out-of-pocket or through private health insurance.

Follow-up care is an important part of the healthcare process in Saudi Arabia, with patients typically referred to their primary care provider after being discharged from the hospital. Other healthcare providers, including specialists and therapists, may also be involved in a patient’s care.

Foreign visitors to Saudi Arabia are required to purchase travel insurance to cover the cost of medical treatment. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions of travel insurance policies to ensure that they provide adequate coverage.

Overall, Saudi Arabia’s healthcare system is of a high standard, with a range of healthcare services available to patients. By continuing to invest in healthcare infrastructure and resources, Saudi Arabia is well-positioned to continue making progress in the years ahead.


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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