Health Care

This page outlines the efforts of the Government of Saudi Arabia to provide comprehensive health care for all people in a fair and accessible manner.

Health legislation

The health law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to provide comprehensive health care for all people in a fair and accessible manner. The Kingdom, represented by the Ministry of Health, provides an integrated network of health care services covering all regions of the Kingdom. The health care in the government medical facilities is provided for citizens for free and based on a new health care law that meets the needs of the health sector. 

Patient Rights and Responsibilities

In the belief of the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by the Ministry of Health to empower patients and involve them in the decisions that support and improve the services provided, The ministry is committed to clarify the rights and responsibilities of patients towards the health facility in the rights of patients and their families document, in cooperation with the competent authorities in the field of providing health care services taking into consideration the human, social, and national rights and duties guaranteed by the system to individuals to improve the level of service provided and increase the patients trust in health facilities and the consolidation of health and humanitarian work shared between service providers and recipients at all levels.

Saudi Patient Expenses and Accompanying Regulation

If the patient is referred for treatment outside the region of his residence inside or outside the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health shall bear the expenses of patients and their companions during the treatment period, according to the regulation the expenses of Saudi patients and their companions referred for treatment outside their areas of residence.

Health Facilities

Provides health care services to more than 31 million citizens and residents, as well as several million visitors during Hajj and Umrah through the health facilities that includes medical cities, specialized hospitals, university and military hospitals and primary care centers. On the ministry’s website, there is an interactive map shows all of the government medical facilities locations, and other information needed such as their working hours.

Health Clusters

In order to facilitate beneficiaries access to the health service as well as facilitating their transfer between care types, the Ministry of Health is seeking to launch health clusters in the Kingdom’s regions. The Health Cluster is an integrated network of health care providers under one administrative structure, serving 1 million people and allowing mobility of medical professionals within the health clusters system. Some of the health clusters that launched are: Riyadh Health Cluster One and the Second Health Cluster in Central Region.

Healthcare During the COIVD-19 Pandemic

Measures to Prevent the COVID-19

  • Curfew restrictions

The country worked in all sectors to stop the spread of Coronavirus, and to protect citizens from its consequences. Each sector acted according to its assigned role to limit the spread of the virus. The government announced a curfew for 24 hours a day in cities that witnessed a high number of cases, and excluded leaving the house for necessary needs. To help people fulfill their needs in a way that guarantees the safety of everyone, the country worked to organize this process through the application of "Tawakolna", an application that grants electronic permits to employees of government sectors, private sector employees, in addition to individuals, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and a number of government agencies. It is also possible, through the application, to report individuals and gatherings violating the precautionary measures in place, in addition to reporting the movement of entry to the prohibited neighborhoods, which were isolated at the discretion of the concerned authorities.

  • Drive-Through Screening Service

Due to the rapid spread of the virus among people and the Kingdom's desire to limit this spread, it has established sites to conduct checks for all citizens and residents for free, without the need to go to hospitals or health centers. It has identified specific sites in different cities. Any citizen or resident who feels symptoms of the virus can download the " Sehhaty" application, book an appointment at one of these sites, and conduct an examination.

  • Home Quarantine

The Kingdom has been keen to provide protection and health care to citizens and residents referred to home isolation or quarantine, to ensure their safety, and to enhance their recovery procedures through the application of (Tatman), one of the applications of the Ministry of Health, through which the results of the examinations can be viewed and updated contact data, daily health status monitoring, isolation countdown indicator, and other services.

  • Keeping distance

To limit the spread of the corona virus; The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority "SADAIA" launched the " Tabaud" application, as a means of notifying contacts of people infected with the coronavirus, enabling the user to obtain direct and proactive notifications in the event of discovering any registered infection, for the purpose of requesting direct health support from the Ministry.

  • Awareness

The Kingdom was keen to educate people about all developments in the Coronavirus and how to prevent it and limit its spread, by answering questions clearly and from reliable sources. It provided them with the answer to the questions related to the virus (and here as well), how to prevent it, what are the appropriate precautionary measures for every place, whether in the mosque or at work or elsewhere, and what applications people may need during this crisis.

You can also visit the "portal of the national reference for the COVID-19" or the "National Center for Disease Prevention and Control" to view all information related to Corona virus in Saudi Arabia.

Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Kingdom is aware of the psychological impact that results from outbreaks of diseases and epidemics, and is keen to preserve the psychological safety of its citizens and residents as much as it is concerned with the physical aspect. It prepared awareness letters to support the mental and psychological health of the general population of the Kingdom during this period. And it has worked to provide platforms to help everyone from patients, health practitioners, or even people who have not been infected with the virus, through health and psychological education, and answering questions and concerns.
It also provided assistances over the phone by calling the psychological counseling center 920033360 or through the psychological counseling application (Gereeb) of the National Center for Mental Health Promotion.

Book an Appointment for COVID-19 Test

An appointment for the examination can be booked through the “Sehhaty” App, and it is available to all citizens or residents, for free, yet it requires an account in Absher. Download the application and book your appointment, select the appropriate time and place, and receive your results via the application or by text message.

Getting the Vaccine

Different Types of Vaccines Worldwide Available

Sinopharm Vaccine

The vaccine, developed by Beijing Institute of Biological Product, a unit of Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG). The preliminary results of the third phase experiments conducted by "Sinopharma CNBG" showed:

  • 86% effectiveness against Covid-19.
  • 99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody.
  • 100% effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease.
  • The analysis shows no serious safety concerns.

It is the first vaccine to be approved by WHO since the spread of the virus. The experiments have shown that prevent the infection after taking two doses, three weeks apart. However, it is not clear yet the duration of its effectiveness.

Sputnik V

Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform. The Vaccine’s efficacy is confirmed at 91.6% based on the analysis, while its efficacy against critical cases of infection reaches 100%. The vaccine was developed by the Russian Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Research (Gamalia), and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

AstraZeneca vaccine

This vaccine has proven effective in preventing infection, and is approved in more than 50 countries. For more deatial click here.

The Available Vaccine in Saudi Arabia

The country has rushed to provide the vaccine that meets the standards of efficacy and safety from the leading global companies in the vaccine industry, through the COVAX International Facility. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority announced its approval to register both "Pfizer-BioNTech" as well as AstraZeneca vaccines for Coronavirus in the Kingdom. And through Sehaty app, the opportunity to obtain a vaccine has been provided for all citizens and residents, optionally. Additionally, all questions related to the topic of the vaccine, its importance and effectiveness has been answered.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has developed a guide containing answers to the questions most frequently asked about COVID-19 vaccine. MOH posted the guide on its account on Twitter and its Public-Awareness Platform (Live Healthy).
The guide contains a number of topics, in particular:
  • Types of vaccines available in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Who is eligible to get the vaccine?
  • Advice provided before and after vaccination.
  • Potential side effects and how to cope with them.
  • Contraindications to the vaccine.

It also contains other topics related to COVID-19 vaccine; you can get the guide via the following  this link.

Priority Groups for Vaccination

Group one

  • The elderly over the age of 65.
  • The security and military sectors and those of similar status; health practitioners, including emergency services in critical areas.
  • People with obesity (body mass index or BMI higher than 40).
  • Immunocompromised (such as those who have undergone organ transplantation and are using immunosuppressive drugs).
  • Those having two or more chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and chronic heart disease.

Group two

  • People of ages +50
  • The rest of health practitioners
  • People who suffer from chronic diseases, obesity (BMI 31 to 40), and sickle cell anemia.

Group three

  • All those who can be vaccinated.

Health Care Services

Service Description
Mawid Service An e-service provided by the Ministry of Health, to enable patients to book, cancel or reschedule their appointments at primary health care centers, as well as managing these appointments by modifying or canceling them as well as managing their referral appointments taking into account all types of society, the service can be accessed through several methods, including an electronic access, such as downloading the application on smart phones or using the website, or by calling the service center (937) or going directly to the Center and booking the appointment.
(937) Emergency Call Center Call 937, a free direct line to receive calls from patients and their families regarding health, such as providing medical consultations by doctors working around the clock, providing medical advice and instructions in cases of poisoning, and receiving reports and complaints related to the health system.
Ambulance Services Call 997, or any hospitals and health centers of the Ministry of Health and the Saudi Red Crescent Authority  provide emergency health services. These services include rapid response to emergencies and free emergency transportation. 
Treatment outside the place of residence In the case of domestic or abroad patient treatment transfer, the Ministry of Health is responsible for the expenses of patients and their companions during the treatment period according to  the regulations for expenses of referral of Saudi patients and their companions for treatment outside their place of residence. Beneficiaries can also  inquire about abroad treatment request electronically, the service enables them to follow up their transaction submitted to the Medical Commissions and Health Attachés.
Premarital Screening

Premarital screening is defined as testing couples who are planning to get married soon for common genetic blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia and thalassemia and sickle cell anemia) and infectious diseases (e.g., hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS). The premarital screening aims to give medical consultation on the odds of transmitting the abovementioned diseases to the other partner/spouse or children and to provide partners/spouses with options that help them plan for healthy family. 

In the interest of KSA to limit the spread of genetic diseases and reduce the financial burden resulting from treating the injured on the family and society, it has provided 131 centers in all regions of the Kingdom

Other tests for all hereditary diseases can be done through the Genome Genetic Testing Center.

Dispensation of medicines Medicines are distributed by pharmacies of government health facilities to citizens for free, as well as via the electronic prescription service (Wasfaty) through commercial pharmacies approved in the system to facilitate beneficiaries access at anytime and anywhere.
Anti-Smoking Clinics
The Anti-Smoking Clinics is an initiative meant to facilitate access to therapeutic services and integrate these clinics with other healthcare providers to ensure a standard high-quality service for all beneficiaries. Visit this page for more information.

Health Licenses

Healthcare Facilities Licenses

The kingdom worked on a unified and comprehensive system for all health licensing services, which is characterized by direct technical integration with all relevant government agencies. The owner of the health facility can obtain the initial approval for licenses for health facilities, the issuance of the final license for health facilities, licenses to practice the profession for health practitioners, and the health practitioner delegation service by registering on the (Seha) platform for electronic health services. You can view the services guide from here.

Healthcare Practitioners Licenses

A healthcare practitioner can obtain a license for a practice through the (Seha) platform for e-services within 30 seconds. The healthcare practitioner can also request to be assigned to a facility other than the facility he works in through the same platform.

Healthcare for People with Disabilities

Regulations within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia state that all people whatsoever there conditions are they deserve the highest degrees of healthcare without discrimination on the basis of disability; in addition, it aims to provide them with the wellbeing and quality of life for them and their families. As part of the regulatory framework for the rights of people with disabilities, the kingdom states the Disability Law and The Authority for the Care of People with Disabilities, as well as encouraging the institutions and individuals to contribute to charitable work.
Providing preventive and rehabilitative services, including preventive genetic counseling, conducting various laboratory tests and analyzes for early detection of diseases, and taking the necessary precautions.
Medical rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy are provided to the disable person to help them to become active members of the society, and help them to support themselves as possible. Services guide available here.
A priority card for persons with disabilities to access health services easily and easily through the electronic registration system for obtaining facilitation cards. Primary Healthcare has launched an initiative dubbed «We Are with You» for serving the deaf and overcoming the difficulties to communicate with doctors.

Mother and Child Health

The Kingdom cares about the family and its members, especially the health and security of the maternity and childcare, and therefore, the health and security of the society.

The Maternity and Childcare

The kingdom pays attention, through MOH, on maternal and child health by providing important educational information and health services in the maternity and childcare sections in its health facilities, such as the importance of breastfeeding, the health of new-born, and premature infants. The services also include periodic maternal screenings for the early detection of breast cancer, and locations of early breast cancer screening clinics.

Additionally, the government pays attention to Child Health Awareness, such as Children Dental Care, Child Nutrition, etc.

Immunization Programs

One of the efforts of the government to protect its citizens is The Immunization Program, which is the way to protect people from infectious diseases such as poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps, etc. It is free and from the birth to first grad of elementary school. An e-service, also, is provided by the Ministry of Health to remind parents of the deadlines of the basic vaccinations by sending a reminding message of the vaccination date to the mobile or e-mail a week before the vaccination.

Mother and Child Health Passport

MOH has devised the Mother and Child Health Passport System, which is concerned with the health of mother and child. It keeps record of their illness history, monitors and follows up on their health status, and requires necessary examinations and analyses. All of this is then documented in the passport to be used in health centers, becoming the first reference for the health of the mothers and children. The passport aims to provide integrated health care, safe pregnancy, a healthy childhood and a happy family.

Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare

The country provides services through the ministry of Health for pregnant, starts with before, and during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.

Labor and delivery

Pregnant woman can choose to deliver her baby in a public or private hospital; However, the country has reserved her rights:

  • The right to know the status of the pregnancy, and the due date.
  • The delivery method expected (Vaginal Delivery, Cesarian Section, etc).
  • Allowing you to take straight positions, and not to restrict you to the bed.
  • Asking for her permission before Cesarian Section, not guardian permission needed.
  • Avoid cutting without medical justification, after showing all the options and with her oral permission.
  • Having a supporter during delivery, a family member or a friend unless it effects other patients privacy.
  • Providing her with the needed support from health providers, and respect her right.

Medical Assistance for Reproduction

The Kingdom recognizes the importance of childbearing and the desire of couples to do so, and in appreciation of the need for some cases to treat delayed childbearing, has implemented the Fertilization, Embryo and Infertility Treatment Units Law (Available only in Arabic) to provide services in it in a safe and fair manner and in line with the teachings of Sharia. Visit this page to learn more about the practices in Saudi Arabia related to infertility and its treatment.


It is a medication or surgical procedure to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is generally illegal in Saudi Arabia, with a narrow exception. In cases where the pregnancy is a physical or mental threat to the mother, and the fetus is less than 120 days old, the mother is allowed to have an abortion after the approval of two specialized doctors. For more information in that regard you can visit this page.

Caring for Older Adults

Older adults, those aged 65 or above, make important contributions to society as family members and active participants in the workforce. The elderly category receives great attention within Saudi society. Therefore, the country provides them special programs to fulfil their needs, and supports institutions and individuals to contribute to charitable work. Of these efforts: Medical Equipment Subsidy Service, Care of the elderly houses, and other programs and services available on The Ministry of Labor and Social Development page, or on The Ministry of Health page.
The kingdom provided them with a "priority" service to facilitate services and procedures for them within health facilities. It also worked to spread awareness about healthy nutrition for the elderly, the mental health of the elderly, as well as the elderly risk of COVID-19.

Mental Health

The Kingdom cares about the mental health of its citizens and residents, so it has provided services to them and allocated centers to provide with the help they need. It also preserved their rights in particular, and the rights of all patients, regardless of their illnesses, were preserved.

Services to Promote Mental Health

The kingdom is interested in attempts to early detection of cases of depression and anxiety, and to follow up cases of chronic diseases, through comprehensive health guidance (primary psychological care). It also aims to link medical treatment and provide the need for emotional support by sharing their experiences with the disease and supporting each other through interest groups.
In addition, the country provides in various regions approximately 21 mental health hospitals and 99 psychiatric clinics, which can be viewed, their locations, and how to communicate with them by visiting this page. Also, help can be obtained through the Gererib application on smartphones. Or by calling the mental health promotion call center 920033360.
The Kingdom also took care of the rejected psychiatric patients, as it allocated the Ajwad Center to take care of them and provide the care and rehabilitation they need. Also, The National Center for Mental Health Promotion have provided an E-directory for all psycological services which offers an extensive information into the hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, and associations and committees located in the Kingdom.

Health care during Hajj 

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides free and integrated health services to pilgrims during Hajj and various seasons through a network of hospitals and health centers that have been established for this purpose, in addition to hospitals and centers operating throughout the year. The Ministry also provides a range of different treatment services as well as minor and critical surgeries, inpatient services, and pharmacological vaccines for pilgrims and Umrah performers.

Hajj Visiting Manpower Participation Service: This service enables medical and technical staff specialized in some delicate specialties to apply for participation as part of MOH’s hajj visiting manpower. This service targets health practitioners required from inside and outside the kingdom to benefit from them during hajj season for operating MOH’s health facilities in the holy sites, as well as enhancing some hospitals in Makkah and Madinah. Interested applicants should register and submit their required documents via the service’s page, so that the Ministry can select qualified cadres with required specialties according to what will be announced.

Chronic Diseases

Through the vision 2030, the kingdom aims to raise awareness and the degree of control of chronic diseases. To reduce complications, and to coexist with disease, and to enhance the concept of self-health care among community members; educational sessions in health education clinics provided for each reviewer according to his health status, for follow-up and evaluation, which will be reflected in the quality of life of the references.


Applying the National E-Health Strategy and the shift toward electronic transactions, the Kingdom provides the Telemedicine involves using information technology and electronic communication means to provide services like diagnosis, examination, and medical assessment to patients. It mainly aims to facilitate communication among health practitioners themselves, and with their patients. Telemedicine has also made it easier for doctors to communicate with one another, whether in terms of consultations, scientific conferences, or other medical educational activities.
The National Health Information Center is a call center that helps provide, organize, and exchange health information automatically among the bodies of health sectors. The Center is a member of the International Society for Telemedicine and E-Health (ISfTeH). The center is also linked to the Saudi Health Council (SHC) and connected to an automatic network of health information with MOH and other relevant government agencies.

Health Insurance

Public hospitals treatment is for all people. However, when choosing to visit private facilities, the government obligates providing health insurance for non-Saudis that works in the Kingdom under the Cooperative Health Insurance Law and its executive regulations.

Hosting Foreign Wounded and Injured

In dealing quickly with humanitarian and critical situations, the Kingdom hosts some foreign wounded and injured people and provides them with specialized treatment services at the highest levels. The Kingdom also regularly hosts conjoined twins for surgical separation.

Foreign Healthcare

Public hospitals treatment is for all people, especially in critical cases where all classes and races disappear and the human level remains to be the determinant of providing the treatment in public hospitals, whether this treatment is for the citizen or foreign patient, especially in critical cases such as traffic accidents, fractures, burns or suffocation.
Some of non-Saudi are treated as Saudis, such as the foreign wife of a Saudi citizen, the children of a female Saudi citizen, the foreign husband of a Saudi citizen if he is within her services, the domestic workers, the foreign worker whose contracts are to be treated at the expense of the country, and TB patients They hold regular residency, and male and female prisoners during their sentences, members of the Ansis tribes who hold Yemeni nationality and reside in the regions of Najran and the southern and western regions during their stay in the Kingdom, the handicapped, the elderly, orphans who live in social affairs homes, AIDS patients, and the sick pilgrims and Umrah performers and others.

Related links

Related Agencies

Last Modified Date: 08/04/2021 - 10:22 AM Saudi Arabia Time
Complementary Content