Working as a Medical Professional in Saudi Arabia

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Sarah Peddie

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we help medical professionals around the world secure their dream job in their choice of location. We offer many different professions in a range of different countries overseas. 

In this series, we will take a look at what it is like to work as a medical professional in the countries our clients are based in to help you decide whether it suits you.

Article 1 - A guide to working as a Medical Professional in Saudi Arabia

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors within the Middle East which is why mass amounts of money are being invested into big projects to help the sector grow and develop. Despite the sector still growing, the standards are very high with many hospitals being JCI accredited and other hospitals striving for the JCI accreditation. 

There are plenty of opportunities within Saudi Arabia to work alongside a global workforce, use the latest technology and state of the art facilities. 

Opportunities

The opportunities that are available in Saudi Arabia are usually consultant level and working in a hospital or a specialist clinic in a public or private hospital. Qualifications and experience needed to practise as a consultant depends on where you did your training. If it was in the UK (Tier 1) then you would need two years post CCT experience. Tier 2 countries require eight years post specialisation experience. 

Due to Middle Eastern culture of self-referral, there has been a lack of opportunities for GP’s within the region. However, Saudi Arabia has put some policies in place to increase their primary healthcare options and this should hopefully see a growth in opportunities for GP’s.

There is a lack of opportunities for Junior Doctors in Saudi Arabia as there are only a few training hospitals and these are focused in training local physicians and not taking in graduates from overseas. 

Contracts and Salaries

Medical professionals are usually employed on a contract basis for periods of one or two years and have the option of renewal on a case to case basis. The contracts given out are usually single status which means if you want to travel with your spouse or any dependents then you will have to make your own arrangements. Exceptions can be made for more senior roles.

The salaries in Saudi Arabia are one of the most attractive factors as to why medical professionals move overseas to work there. Salaries are typically 10-20 percent higher than western countries and due to medical professionals being in high demand globally - salaries have been increasing recently. An average salary for someone working in the medical sector is SAR 110,000.

There are a number of benefits such as tax free salaries, furnished accommodation, yearly bonuses and free medical and emergency healthcare. 

Medical Registration

Gaining a license to practise in Saudi Arabia will involve background checks, certificates and require you to have a certain amount of years practise depending on your speciality. You must hold a medical qualification from a school listed on the International Medical Education Directory of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research.

As for a visa, once you have been offered the job you were applying for and been successful then your employer will play a large part in helping you get the correct employment/residence visa. 

If you are interested in moving overseas to Saudi Arabia to live and work then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you along the way.