Working as a Medical Professional in Saudi Arabia

Working as a doctor or health professional in Saudi Arabia

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. 

You can expect to earn a tax free income and receive some attractive benefits and additionally develop some new skills in healthcare service development, medical education and leadership.



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 - three years post CCT experience. Tier 2 countries require five years post specialisation experience and Tier 3 countries, eight years.

Due to Middle Eastern culture of patient to specialist self-referral, there has been a lack of opportunities for General Practitioners 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 GPs.

There is a lack of opportunities for expatriate Junior Doctors in Saudi Arabia. The country has opened a lot of new medical schools and is largely self sufficient in junior doctors who take up the training positions


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 for consultants and most specialists are family status which means that you can take a spouse and children under age 18 to live with you in Saudi Arabia as dependents.They will be given resident visas under your sponsorship.

Physicians and health professionals are usually motivated to work in Saudi Arabia for financial gain, attracted by the tax free salaries and associated contractual benefits which include: 

  • medical insurance for self and family
  • medical malpractice cover
  • accomodation or allowance for accommodation
  • international travel
  • local travel
  • education allowance for children (usually limited to 2 or 3)
  • end of contract bonus
  • paid annual leave of up to 6 weeks per year
  • paid public holiday leave
  • Continuing Medical Education programmes
  • Study leave
  • Incentives 
Remuneration Packages and salaries vary according to employer and between public and private sector. 
Consultant salaries start from SAR 50,000 per month and increase depending upon experience and qualifications.


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 medical school listed on the International Medical Education Directory of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research.

You will need to obtain a Data Flow Report which verifies at primary source your qualiifications, experience and medical licence. The employer will apply for your licence with the Data Flow Report to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialities (SCHS).



Once you have agreed a job offer, your employer will apply for visa authorisation to bring you and your family to Saudi Arabia. Once issued, your visa can be stamped in your passport at your local Saudi Embassy. Visa application procedures vary according to country but will usually involve a police check and medical examination.


Arriving in Saudi Arabia

Your employer will book your flight from point of hire to Saudi Arabia and will arrange a meet and greet service for your arrival at the airport when you disembark your flight.

You will be transported to your accommodation which will be a villa or apartment, the latter being most common. Some accommodation is located in compounds but many employers have recently terminated contracts with compounds and leased private city based apartments instead.

After some rest, you will be invited to the hospital to meet with the Human Resources department for an induction and then it is time to start work!


Register for jobs in Saudi Arabia and Further Information

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.

Read more about living and working in Saudi Arabia in our country profile of Saudi Arabia and news section where you can find a large variety of information on many topics connected with Saudi Arabia, its dynamic healthcare sector and interesting local culture.

Watch this video for information about the cities of Saudi Arabia.