Healthcare in Saudi Arabia
Healthcare in Saudi Arabia is of a high standard and expats will benefit from excellent medical facilities in both the private and public sectors. For the most part, they won't need to worry about delays or waiting lists.
Hospitals in Saudi Arabia
There are public, private and military hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Most expats use private hospitals and clinics, but their high standards come with a hefty price tag, so expats should make sure they're covered by health insurance.
Many of the staff at private hospitals in Saudi Arabia are expats themselves and numerous hospitals are affiliated with well-known foreign facilities – so the language gap shouldn't be an issue.
Health insurance in Saudi Arabia
Locals and expats working in the public sector have access to state-sponsored healthcare coverage, but it's compulsory for non-Saudi nationals to have private medical insurance. It's usually the sponsoring employer's responsibility to provide their expat employees with medical cover. Expats should try to negotiate this into their contract if it isn't the case.
Medicines and pharmacies in Saudi Arabia
Medicines are widely available at pharmacies in Saudi Arabia, but expats should be aware of customs regulations before bringing medication into the country. For example, tranquillisers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills are heavily controlled in the Kingdom.
Most pharmacies are open from 9.30am to 1pm and from 4.30pm to 10.30pm, and hospitals often have a 24-hour pharmacy.
Health hazards in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is mostly desert and expats usually struggle to adapt to extreme temperatures that can soar above 113°F (45°C). Heatstroke and exhaustion are common, especially during the hottest months from May to September.
Dust storms can also make outdoor activities difficult and can be hazardous to those with respiratory problems.
Emergency services in Saudi Arabia
Ambulances in Saudi Arabia are normally operated and controlled by police and government hospitals. For medical emergencies, expats can call 997.