Saudi Arabia’s budget for 2017 has seen an 8% increase in total spending compared with last year, with the Kingdom’s healthcare sector being a particular beneficiary.
Speaking at the announcement of the 2017 budget the country’s King Salman said: We have sought, through this budget and its programs, to improve the efficiency of capital and operational expenditures in the state, strengthen the situation of public finances, enhance their sustainability, give priority to developmental and service projects and programs that serve citizens directly, contribute to activating the role of the private sector and increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product."
The healthcare sector will be one of the biggest beneficiaries, with 120bnSR (£26bn) being invested into the public system. This will help to equip and further advance almost all the healthcare facilities in the country, as well as the 38 projects that are currently under construction.
This investment will also see a further push towards the country’s ‘Vision 2030’ aims for Saudisation of the healthcare sector. Currently the reliance on expat labour can lead to a reliance on less well trained medics from overseas. Under ‘Vision 2030’ the Kingdom aims to create one of the world’s most prestigious healthcare systems, built on a strong base of homegrown and highly trained Western medics to rival the UAE’s medical tourism industry.
Working in Saudi Arabia has many perks. Tax free salaries, high levels of staffing, a good work/life balance and a range of high quality, modern facilities. The country is expanding financially as it attempts to move away from a purely oil based economy, and its aims of becoming a hub for health tourism in the near future are seeing plenty invested in the healthcare sector. As well as this the Kingdom’s deficit has fallen at a greater than projected rate, ensuring that the future looks both bright and secure.
Life in Saudi Arabia is unique and isn’t for everyone, however the country is becoming an ever more attractive destination for Western trained expat medics looking to enhance their careers overseas.
If working within the unique ‘Desert Kingdom’ is something which would appeal to you, register on our website for job alerts - and make 2017 the year that you make a career enhancing move a reality.