Health care is an essential part of any thriving nation. This section highlights the Kingdom’s efforts to provide comprehensive health care for all individuals of society in an accessible and simple manner. You will be introduced to the heath legislations and patient rights and responsibilities, while also becoming informed about the various health facilities and healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the types of vaccines available and precautionary measures to be taken. This section will also shed light on the care of the elderly, mental health care and the services available to promote it, while also addressing the appropriate services to rely on for health care measures during Hajj. Additionally, more extensive information will be supplied throughout this segment in relation to chronic diseases, telehealth, health insurance, and foreign healthcare.
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.
Digital health is one of the most essential transformation programs operated by the Ministry of Health’s, Vision Realization Office. The program aims to improve general health by providing better health care services and raising the value of health care. The Ministry of Health has worked to develop a clear and concise strategy and plan to achieve these goals in alignment with the strategic objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The Digital Health strategy provides full functionality and expanded interoperability.
The system focuses on telehealth, cybersecurity, system certification, advanced functionality including Artificial Intelligence, analytics and models of care. Digital technology plays a significant role in supporting the delivery of the Digital Health Vision and by implementing this effective strategy, it creates the right conditions for the Ministry of Health’s digital health ecosystem to expand. The aim of the digital health care system is to transform the delivery of healthcare through the expansion of implementation of technology, in order to deliver safer and efficient healthcare services to the society of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
For more information click here.
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.
The Kingdom established the Saudi Patient Safety Center (SPSC), which serves as a main enabler of the national strategy of patient safety and has contributed to raising the percentage of hospitals that achieved the American Standard for Patient Safety Culture from 30% in 2018 to 60% in 2020.
The Kingdom expanded the specialized healthcare service to improve quality and efficiency of the healthcare system while expanding coverage of specialized healthcare services through a range of centers, programs, projects and hospitals, which include launching the Dysplasia National Program via Telemedicine, launching psychiatry departments at multiple hospitals, launching Al Amal Hospital in Ha’il with a capacity of 200 beds, launching the North Medical Tower at the Northern Borders Province with a capacity of 300 beds, and launching some specialized services at King Salman Hospital in Hai’l.
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
The Ministry of Health recognition from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for its efforts in activating E-Health during the pandemic due to their ability to launch several e-applications to promote the efficiency and quality of health services and raise the satisfaction of beneficiaries, developing additional services in e-applications such as enabling early detection of diseases through self-evaluation via the “Mawid” application, which registered 67 million appointments by the end of 2020, providing more than 2.1 million medical consultations remotely through the “Seha” application, and enhancing response time for emergency calls from 16 minutes in 2019 to 14.43 minutes in 2020 via the Paramedic applications
Then Ministry of Health received recognition from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for its effort in activiting E-Health during the pandemic by developing additional services in electronic applications, such as:
- Enabling early detection of disease through self evaluation via "Mawid" application, which registered 67 million appointments by the end of 2020.
- Providing more than 2.1 million medical consultaion remotely through "Seha" application.
- Enhancing response time for emergency calls from 16 minutes in 2019 to 14.43 minutes in 2020 via the "Paramedic application"
- The Kingdom received 100,000 daily calls to 937, responding to 24.6 million calls and 7.6 million medical consultations by the end of 2020.
Measures to Prevent the COVID-19
Genetic sequence of COVID-19
The Kingdom studied the genetic sequence of COVID-19 virus through the Public Health Authority, Weqaya, which established a COVID-19 testing laboratory that obtained 100% of the external quality assessment program tests, conducted more than 600,000 laboratory tests for COVID-19, and carried out studied to analyze the genetic sequence of COVID-19. Weqaya additionally established the newborn screening laboratory, where 2,000 samples per day were examined, achieving a score of 100% in the efficiency and quality tests affiliated with the College of American Pathologists, launched a website for COVID-19 awareness and updates, and an accreditation program for COVID-19 testing laboratories, which accredited 80 laboratories around the Kingdom in private and public sectors.
- 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.
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
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 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.
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
- 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.
- People of ages +50
- The rest of health practitioners
- People who suffer from chronic diseases, obesity (BMI 31 to 40), and sickle cell anemia.
- All those who can be vaccinated.
Health Care Services
The Kingdom facilitated access to healthcare services, raising the percentage of specialized consultations provided within 4 weeks from 38% to 84% and increasing the percentage of urban and rural communities with access to basic healthcare services in their locations from 78% in 2016 to 85.7% in 2020.
|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.
Through this service, you can book an appointment for reproductive, maternal and child health care services. Mawid” App enable beneficiaries to book appointments at Reproductive Healthcare services through Primary Health Care Centers for services such as Vaccination, Pregnancy follow-up, Healthy Child Clinic, and Family Medicine. This resulted in 14.3 million beneficiaries and 67 million appointments.
|(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.|
|Testing for COVID-19||This service allows citizens and residents in Saudi Arabia to book an appointment for testing for COVID-19 via Sehaty App whether they have the symptoms or not. The testing of COVID-19 can be taken in many fixed and mobile locations across Saudi Arabia. To view this service click here.|
|Registering for COVID-19 Vaccination||This service allows all citizens and residents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to register to receive the Corona vaccine, through the (Sehaty) application. To view this service click here.|
|Medical Consultation||An e-service provided by the Ministry of Health via (Seha) App. and IVR (937), which enables beneficiaries to request for medical, mental and psychological consultation by doctors work around the clock. It offers key advice and guidelines for poisoning cases. To view this service click here.|
|Psychological and Mental Counseling (Qareboon)||A service provided by the National Center for Mental Health Promotion, providing psychological and mental counseling supervised by a specialized work staff, through the application of (Qareboon). The application represents an integrated library that contains countless information on mental health with the latest modern means and methods, such as text materials, infographics, and visual content (video). To view this service click here.|
|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 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.|
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.
Child Vaccination E-Certificate
- Includes all child vaccinations from birth.
- Easy access at any time.
- An alternative to the paper vaccination certificate.
- Download the «Sehhaty» Platform and register your data
- Click on Health File.
- Choose Vaccinations.
- Click on Child Vaccinations, and submit your child's data by clicking on Add a Dependent (a Family Member).
- Click on Vaccination Certificate.
- View your Child Vaccination E-Certificate.
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.
Public Health and Emergencies
The Kingdom improved the emergency medical care services aimed at facilitating access to healthcare services by giving access to the service through a range of options.
The General Directorate of Civil Defense
The Kingdom’s government is concerned with managing health crises and disasters. Due to this concern, a specialized center has been established, known as the National Health Emergency Operations Center. It is a strategic project that aims to strengthen health crisis and disaster management processes at national and local levels thus raising the level of coordination between the concerned departments in the ministry. Click here for the NHEOC twitter page.
The center also provides decision makers with the accurate information in cases of crises to benefit from them in cases of early warning. The center operates around the clock and has 20 branches nationwide, followed by hospitals and health facilities within the scope of each branch. All branches are equipped with the latest equipment including wall screens and communication devices linked to each other by the program technology system (web EOC), and it enables the user to raise reports and data and receive directions via means of communication such as phone lines, wireless devices, and satellite
communication devices. The most prominent specialties of the center include linkage with locations of human gatherings, such as schools, markets, airports, and others.
The center’s effort is doubled in cases of millions of crowds during the Hajj and Umrah seasons. The employees of the center are divided into two areas including the following:
- The first area is dedicated to monitoring accidents and reports.
- The second area ensures the readiness of health facilities to deal with crises and disasters as the team prepares the daily reports related to the bed capacity in each hospital, the number of blood units available, huma cadres available and their specialties, the number of ambulances, and the available stock of basic medical materials.
Types of reports received by the center
- Reports of mass casualties, including car and plane accidents, or injuries resulting from natural events such as floods and earthquakes.
- Reports related to epidemic diseases and food poisoning.
- Reports related to the safety of health facilities.
Means of Action
The specified branch manages the supervision of the accident or crisis by engaging the abilities of its hospitals and centers, while the main center in Riyadh follows-up on the procedures and monitors the details to study and analyze them within a program, which is linked to the competent authorities.
In the event that the crisis or disaster exceed the hospital’s capacity, the concerned branch will supply the capacity, provide the needed staff, and secure materials from other hospitals in the region.
In the event that the situation exceeds the potential of the region, the branch in Riyadh manages the crisis by moving and transferring the capabilities between the regions.
Saudi Arabia has a range of emergency and ambulance numbers for specific health cases or rescue services. Listed below some significant emergency contact numbers:
- kingdom Emergency (withouth the SIM card) 112
- Civil Defense 998
- Ambulance 997
- Traffic Accidents 993
- Coastguard 994
- Natural Disasters 966
- Emergency - Office of Deaths 990
- Criminal Investigation 992
- Flying Ambulance 123
For more emergency contact numbers click here.
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.
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
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.This process Is confirmed by a decision brought forth by the medical committee, formed in accordance with the term and conditions specified by the executive regulations of the system, including the following:
The Senior Scholars Decisions No. 140, dating back to 06-20-1407 AH, states the following:
- It is not permissible to abort a pregnancy during any stag other than cases presented with legitimate reasoning and in accordance with certain limits.
- It is permissible to abort the pregnancy if the pregnancy is within the first trimester, which consists of the first 40 days, due to possible harm.
- It is not permissible to abort a pregnancy until a reliable medical committee decides that the continuation of the pregnancy poses a danger to the mother’s safety.
- After the third trimester, completing four months of pregnancy, it is not permissible to abort the pregnancy until a group of trusted specialists decide that the remaining of the foetus in the mother’s womb may cause her to die, after all means to save the foetus life have been exhausted.
For more executive regulations, click here.
For more information in that regard you can visit this page.
Women's Health Rights
Women’s rights are aligned with the Sharia rulings, legal fatwas from the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta, the ruling laws and regulations, in addition to any paragraphs mentioned in accordance with the Sharia rulings and laws. A few of the women’s health rights include the following:
- Preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic examinations for infectious and non-infectious venereal diseases. Confidentiality and privacy in sexual diseases are emphasized, except in cases highlighted by legal laws and procedures.
- Acquiring health and legal advice in cases where a woman wishes to begin the process of reproduction and obtain methods of contraception in accordance with medical supervision and trained specialists in health centers and hospitals. This health service is offered free-of-charge in health centers and hospitals associated with the Ministry of Health.
- Providing a safe environment, guaranteeing childbirth in a decent and respectful manner, at all times, thus preserving the woman’s dignity, while also guaranteeing her right to choose the doctor who provides her maternal care. The medical team must possess specialized skills in natural reproduction, in addition to the presence of qualified staff specialized in handling complications, if issues were to arise.
- Preserving the woman’s privacy and covering intimate parts (awrah) during childbirth, by providing private rooms and appointed spaces to conceal her from other patients.
- Women aged 18 years and over have the right to accept or refuse to sign medical permission for their own surgical work and do not require consent from their guardian.
For more on women’s rights, click here.
- An appointments for reproductive, maternal and child health care services can be booked through the service: Booking Medical appointments in health care centers (Mawid)
- More about the services provided to women in the Kingdom
- More about the services provided to children in the Kingdom
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.
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.
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 Telehealth 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. Telehealth 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 Telehealth 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.
Sehha application enables individuals to receive health and preventive care from their homes, through medical consultancies using text, audio, and video chat. This contributed to raising community awareness of COVID-19 and its protective measures, providing accurate medical information to beneficiaries, improving health services provided to citizens, reducing the financial burdens on citizens and health facilities, and minimizing the time required to obtain medical consultations.
The unified health file
The vision of the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to develop health care in terms of quality, standards, and equality in the provision of health care services. To achieve this vision, Saudi Arabia has outlined a comprehensive plan to improve health care, through which a sustainable health system is achieved on a global level in line with the ambition and goals set out in Vision 2030. One of the primary axes on which the system for delivering healthcare in hospitals and other medical facilities rely is the unified health file record. Health files play an important role in preserving all patient information, such as: examinations, diagnoses, treatment, follow-up reports, and other important medical decisions.
Unified health file: An electronic system aimed at preserving all patient information, eliminating duplication of data entry; to improve the quality of health services provided, and facilitate the work of health practitioners.
Objectives of the unified health file:
- Reduce the cost of information systems by eliminating double data entry.
- Design and implement an electronic system with high security and reliability characteristics.
- Easy to retrieve, transfer, collect, update, and save patient data, while strictly confidential.
- Improve the quality of health services provided.
- Managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart failure.
- Unify the standards and procedures used in dealing with the health file.
It is noteworthy that the Unified Health File Service connects health care providers in the Kingdom with a system that facilitates the work of health practitioners, enhances public health, and contributes to reducing costs. This service uses the national identity number (civil registry) or the resident identity number of residents (residence) as a unified reference to the patient's health file record at the national level.
All citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia.
How do I log in to the unified health file?
- Through the Health app (Sehati), click on the login icon.
- Sign in through the National Access Service (Nafath).
- Access to the unified health file.
What information is available in the unified national file?
- Personal information
- Medical information:
Medical information in the unified health file includes allergies experienced by the patient, blood type, chronic diseases, height, weight, BMI, patient appointments, laboratory tests, radiology tests, prescriptions, sick leave, medical reports, vaccinations, medical referrals, previous user reviews, and other medical data through the Health application (Sehati).
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.
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.
- 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.
medicines and pharmaceutical products
The Ministry of Health launched a drug directory for smart devices, aimed at enabling physicians, pharmacists, and nursing staff to verify medication doses before prescribing, dispensing or administrating them to patients.
The Saudi Food & Drug Authority launched the Drug Track and Trace System to trace pharmaceutical products electronically in all phases, from production to consumption, by adopting and utilizing the latest technological means. This contributed to the generation of registering more than 4,800 health facilities and performing 1.2 billion operations on medicine bottles until the end of 2020, registering all medications at the point of sale in the Track and Trace system, protecting the community, promoting control, and ensuring the safety of medications, and knowing the sources of medications until they reach the consumers.
International awards and achievements
The Kingdom was ranked the first in the World Health Organization’s Electronic Monitoring System among eastern Mediterranean countries, which lead to an increase in the number of centers for monitoring flu infections from 15 in 2017 to 50 specialized centers in 2019 at a regional level and connecting centers to the WHO’s Electronic Monitoring System, which is aimed at monitoring flu cases and various patterns of viruses.
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