The healthcare system in Saudi Arabia: How can we best move forward with funding to protect equitable and accessible care for all?

Mohammed Khaled Al-Hanawi


The Saudi Arabian healthcare system is currently undergoing a process of reform. While it previously adopted a universal access approach in which all health care was provided free-of-charge to citizens at the point of care, this has been identified as unsustainable into the future. The shift towards an ageing population and the increasing burden of chronic disease, along with increasing use of technology and development of expensive treatments, mean that health care costs in Saudi Arabia are likely to increase significantly in the near future. Therefore, new ways to fund healthcare have been explored, with the solution proposed being a social insurance model in which employment contributions pay for care. This study seeks to identify the different alternatives which are available to the Saudi government and investigate the outcomes of these alternatives in their respective countries of use. The study examined the private insurance system in the United States of America, the social insurance system in Australia, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, and the Public Private Partnership adopted by Singapore. It would seem that the Singaporean model is associated with the lowest level of government spending to maintain a high quality of patient care. However, further in-depth analysis is required to better understand how this model would apply to the Saudi Arabian context.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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