Saudi Healthcare Sector Largest in the Region


Fraser Clarke

Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector is now the largest in the Middle East according to a senior minister in the Kingdom.

Speaking at the official opening of Riyadh’s World Health Forum, Health Minister, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, announced that the sector is now worth in excess of SR150bn - around $40bn - thanks to a healthy mix of internal and external funding.

Al-Rabiah was quick to point out that the sector couldn’t afford to standstill however, with the Desert Kingdom reaching a crucial stage in its history.

An ageing population, a rise in chronic conditions, and the increasing cost of healthcare globally have all combined to ensure that future generations have a challenge on their hands to continue the positive trend.

Further to this, the Kingdom finds itself in a situation where it drastically needs more trained medical professionals to help deal with the changing demands of the population.

It hopes that increasingly liberal laws can help attract more highly trained staff, whilst various incentives and education plans have been introduced aimed at extolling the virtues of leading a healthy lifestyle.

A comprehensive restructuring programme of both public and private healthcare facilities is also set to be introduced, aimed at restoring governance in the sector.

Al-Rabiah commented: “This will enable the ministry to focus on its fundamental role in formulating policies and legislations as well as to enact laws and regulations to guarantee the quality and standard of the health services.”

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