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Medical tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Medical tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Health and wellness tourism is considered one of the types of national tourism included in the national tourism development strategy approved by the Council of Ministers. Experts in this field confirm that the coming years will bring tangible development and medical tourism will take another direction, helping it to be one of the most important countries on the medical tourism map in addition to the outstanding international reputation of the medical sector that helps to promote medical tourism and tourism investment at the same time. . Medical tourism is currently one of the important investments that achieve high economic returns with the availability of natural resources and high medical capacities in the territory of the Kingdom, which help in the success of this type of tourism. There are significant opportunities that the Kingdom can seize to benefit from medical tourism as it has distinctive tourist destinations and advanced health hospitals.

Cancellation of the visa

The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia focuses on revitalizing the tourism sector in general, so it should be noted that the recent decision was on the cancellation of visas for those who come to the Kingdom from about 50 countries, where they can be obtained through the online platform or upon arrival. The duration of the visa is 90 days and can be obtained from the visa platform on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or from the self-service machine in the arrival halls of the Kingdom's international airports, or at the office of airport passports.

This step, through which Saudi Arabia will be able to attract tourists from other categories, and medical tourism will surely have an abundant participation. And reviving the tourism sector is part of Saudi Vision 2030, which was launched about three years ago and seeks to reduce dependence on oil and diversify sources of income.

The Kingdom has wonderful beaches, ancient historical sites, amusement parks and luxury hotels, as well as the most prestigious and distinguished hospitals that provide world-class medical services according to the latest medical devices and by an experienced team of healthcare providers. . Saudi Arabia can also provide unique and different tourism through its natural and archaeological sites that have yet to be revealed, in addition to the intellectual and literary landmarks and tourism potential that the Red Sea islands also offer.

At present, efforts are concentrated in the land of the Kingdom to encourage investors and companies operating in the tourism sector to invest in the field of medical tourism, which is considered one of the most important tourism investments that can achieve high financial returns. within the Kingdom, especially with the availability of many natural ingredients and distinct medical capabilities in the Kingdom. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is experiencing growth in the health sector that should benefit by activating medical tourism and attracting qualified international experts, which will help to increase the employment rate in Saudi hospitals on the one hand and limit the travel of citizens Saudis abroad for treatment elsewhere.

The health sector in the Kingdom is considered the largest of all Middle Eastern countries, with expenditures exceeding 150 billion Saudi Riyals, which is equivalent to approximately $ 40 billion, the Minister of Health recently stated. Health; Where the Minister of Health previously spoke about the preparation of 19 health projects, including hospitals and medical towers, some of which were launched last year, and others this year in various regions and governorates of the country, which would represent a different addition to the health services system. To improve these services and advance the progress of health work in the country.

Constituent and attractive

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has some elements and attractions, perhaps the most important of which is the existence of a system of hospitals specialized in all medical fields, which are equipped to the highest level in terms of medical and hotel technology and rehabilitation, with a medical staff with extensive experience, whether local or foreign. On the other hand, the Saudi cities and the capital certainly offer furnished apartments and hotels at competitive prices that allow patients and their families to stay in comfort and tranquility, within walking distance of the hospital.

Among the elements of health tourism and hospitalization in the Kingdom:

  • Local and foreign medical competencies of all medical specialties.
  • Distinguished hospitals with a high level of technical equipment in all the cities of the Kingdom.
  • Specialized hospitals with a regional reputation for treating a number of chronic diseases.
  • Geographic diversity and availability of natural resources such as mountains, seas, etc.
  • The existence of the Two Holy Mosques and the spiritual importance they represent for Muslims.
  • Both Arabic and English are widely spoken in Kingdom hospitals.
  • Acceptable cost compared to western countries.

Coordination and integration between the public and private sectors

The astonishing development experienced by the medical sector during the last decades has played a fundamental role in highlighting the elements of medical tourism in the Kingdom territory, especially in light of the integration between the public and private sectors and the full coordination at the level of the health services provided. This solidarity between the public and private sector in terms of the development of health tourism and hospitalization, its characteristics began to crystallize through the investment activities of the two sectors in this field, since the Kingdom currently enjoys high growth in your medical and health sector, which requires taking advantage of this opportunity by activating the tourism and hospitalization aspect, and the importance of attracting specialized knowledge. International and exploration of experiences to develop this sector.

The Kingdom has realized that medical tourism is one of the most important tourism patterns that interest countries for economic benefits, especially in light of the medical capabilities available and the natural ingredients that help the success of this type of tourism. tourism, in addition to targeting hospitals, private medical centers and tour operators licensed by the authority in the region and hotels. And tourist complexes in which hospital services are available.

Health projects that meet the needs of tourists

In parallel, the various regions and governorates of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are experiencing notable progress in the level of health facilities available in it, either in terms of introducing amendments and developments in existing hospitals and medical centers, or in terms of opening of New and advanced projects and departments to serve the largest possible number of citizens and residents in the land of the Kingdom at the highest levels. The Ministry of Health had made it clear that these projects constitute a new turning point in the health services in Hafr Al-Batin after the operation of new specialties that were not present in the governorate hospitals, which have a capacity of 1000 beds, and will help reduce the transfer of cases of patients who need these specialties outside the government. On the other hand, and in a qualitative leap within the vision of the Kingdom 2030 and in a record time not exceeding two months and the empowerment of modern technology and the latest technology in health services, the Ministry of Health recently announced the expansion of its services in communication medicine to cover the "health" application that provides consultations. It enables all citizens, from anywhere, to get face-to-face medical advice from their doctors in all regions of the Kingdom.

The Kingdom seeks to achieve optimal use of hospitals and medical centers through its continuous effort to improve the quality of both preventive and curative health services, in addition to the public sector's focus on providing preventive medicine to citizens and encouraging them to benefit. primary health care as the first step in your treatment plan.