Health Care Scenario of Saudi Arabia


Are you planning to build or restructure or venture in any healthcare venture in Saudi Arabia? Looking for information about the major healthcare players in Government, Private diagnostic centers that are available in Saudi Arabia? Are you looking to find out which part of the of the city’s is best to venture in or what all facilities are available and what all should be planned for new setup? In this article Hospaccx Healthcare Consultancy has mapped all on major players in terms of medical facilities and healthcare scenario in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) constitutes the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is geographically the fifth-largest state in Asia and second-largest state in the Arab world after Algeria. The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz, Najd and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and Southern Arabia (Asir). The KSA of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called “The Land of the Two Holy Mosques” in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.

Saudi Arabia population is equivalent to 0.44% of the total world population & they ranks 41 in the list of countries by population. The total land area is 2,149,690 Km2 (830,000 sq. miles).

Fig. 10: The Neighboring Countries: Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south. It is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Red Sea.

Demography Statistics

The Rural – Urban Dichotomy:

Saudi Arabia has 150 cities & more than 2000 villages. There are vast distances between major cities.

Fig. 2: 78.4 % of the population is urban & rest 21.6 % lives in Rural Areas.



Saudi Arabia is among one of the richest countries in world. The economy of Saudi Arabia is dependent on oil and has strong government control over major economic activities. The Saudi economy is the largest in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia has the world’s second-largest proven petroleum reserves and the country is the largest exporter of petroleum. It has also the fifth-largest proven natural gas reserves. Saudi Arabia is considered an “energy superpower”. It has third highest total estimated value of natural resources, valued at US$34.4 trillion in 2016.

Most working Saudis are employed by the government, and private companies rely heavily on foreign workers. Foreigners make up about a third of Saudi Arabia’s population of 31 million, and most are laborers.


Sea Transport: Saudi Arabia has a well-developed sea transport network, developed primarily to support the transport of petrochemicals. Saudi Ports Authority is the ports management organization in the country, overseeing the operations. Direct Ships from Port of Mumbai, India to Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia is also available. The Sea Route is about 2515 nautical miles & take 10-11 days to complete.

Air Transport: There are 203 airports in Saudi Arabia (2003 est.). Shortest distance between India and Saudi Arabia is 3,504 km (2,177 miles). There are direct flights available from major Metros of India to major cities of Saudi Arabia.

Indian Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota from 1.36 lakh to 1.70 lakh per year in 2017 resulting in travelling of such a huge number of people from India to Saudi Arabia every year.

Top 5 Corporates in Saudi Arabia

Growth Plan of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is planning to liberalize its conservative society and diversify its economy. The primary engine of the proposed economic transformation is the Public Investment Fund, which invests in both Saudi and foreign entities and has recently announced a series of multimillion and billion-dollar initiatives. These include investments in energy efficiency, dairy, entertainment and waste management companies; a fund to support small and medium-size businesses; and other investments in infrastructure, technology and the ride-hailing company Uber.

The 26,500 square kilometers zone, known as Neom, will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment. The project ‘Neom’ would cost $500 billion and seek to create a leading global hub that exemplifies the future of human civilization by offering its inhabitants an idyllic lifestyle combined with exceptional economic prospects.

Some Important Health Statistics

Medical Tourism

Saudi Arab Government is targeting the Muslim population of whole world to develop their medical Tourism industry. The most important motivating factor for the medical tourist to get his/ her treatment done in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the essence of existence of the two Holy Cities for the Spirituality. It should be noted here that the associated trip to Makah and Medina, acts as a great push factor for the prospective Medical Tourists, who choose to come to Saudi Arabia for their treatment and spiritual, mental relaxation.

Top 5 causes of Mortality in Saudi Arabia

  1. Ischemic Heart Diseases
  2. Road Traffic accidents
  3. Cerebrovascular Disease
  4. Chronic Kidney Disease
  5. Lower RTI

The Healthcare Scenario

Health care services in Saudi Arabia have been given a high priority by the government. During the past few decades, health and health services have improved greatly in terms of quantity and quality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Saudi health care system is ranked 26th among 190 of the world’s health systems.

Saudi Health Care System

Fig. 3: The Saudi Health Care System

The system consists of 2 Sectors. Public & Private. The Public Sector has 2 Sub Sectors 1. MOH (Ministry of Health) & 2. Other Govt. Agencies.

The Comparison of Public & Private Health Sector

A. Distribution of Healthcare Professionals among Public & Private Sector

Fig. 4: Distribution of Healthcare Professionals among Public & Private Sector

In Public Sector: There are total of 49039 Physicians, 111328 Nurses, 4007 Pharmacists & 66595 Allied health Professionals.

In Private Sector: The total number of physicians (including dentists) is 22,479. There are 28,373 nurses in the private sector. The total number of pharmacists working in the private polyclinics and hospitals is 981 while 10,602 pharmacists are working in the private pharmacies, therefore the total number of pharmacists in the private sector is 11,583. 10,174 allied health professionals work in the private sector.

So the total health manpower working in the KSA were as follows: 71,518 physicians (including 10,002 dentists), 139,701 nurses, 15,590 pharmacists, and 76,769 allied health professionals. (2012)

B. Distribution of Hospitals among various health Sectors.

MOH operates 259 hospitals and 2,259 PHC centers. (59.5%) Other Governmental Sector have 39 hospitals (9%) & Private Sector has 137 hospitals (31.5%)

Fig. 5: Distribution of Hospitals among various health Sectors.

The total number of private dispensaries is 2,168, with 749 dispensaries (34.5%) present in Riyadh and 573 dispensaries (26.4%) present in Makkah.

C. Distribution of Hospital Beds among various health Sectors.

The total number of beds in all hospitals in the KSA is 61,036. It is significant to note that there are 35,828 beds under the management of the MOH, corresponding to 58.7% of the total beds in the KSA. Other Government Sector Hospitals has 11,043 Beds (18.1%) & the Private Sector Hospital have 14,165 Beds (23.2%).

Fig. 6: Distribution of Hospital Beds among various health Sectors.

D. Regional distribution of MOH & Public Hospital Beds/10000 Population.

Fig. 7: Regional distribution of MOH Hospital Beds/10000 Population. Al-Jouf has maximum bed density of 29 beds/10,000 people while Makkah has minimum bed density of 9/10,000 Population.

Fig. 8: Regional distribution of Private Hospital Beds/10000 Population. Eastern Region has maximum bed density of 8.05 beds/10,000 people while no Private Hospitals in Northern Region.

Pharmacy in Saudi Arabia:

The total number of private pharmacies is 6,947, representing a rate of one pharmacy per 4,203 individuals.

Health Insurance in Saudi Arabia

In 2005, health insurance was made compulsory for all non-Saudi nationals working in the country under the Cooperative Health Insurance Act. In 2008, this act was extended to include Saudi nationals working for the private sector. Enforcements of this compulsory coverage include fines for non-compliant companies and a refusal to renew working permits without insurance.

Major Public Hospitals in KSA

1.King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Riyadh – 1002 Beds

Inaugurated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahad Abdulaziz, This Hospital began its operation in the late 1396. Its facilities now have 845 beds with the addition of 157 beds dedicated for the critical care units, and general and specialized clinics that exceeds 200 clinics.

2. King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh – 800 Beds

Established in 1982, this hospital provides all general and subspecialty medical services. It contains a special outpatient building, more than 20 OTs, and a fully equipped and staffed laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy services. They provide services for Saudi patients from Northern Riyadh area.

3. King Fahed University Hospital, Khobar – 380 Beds

The Minister for Health, Dr. Hussain Al Jazairy, inaugurated the Hospital in 1981. This is a multi-specialty tertiary care hospital equipped with ICU, CCU, NICU, PICU, BURN unit, Cardiac Catheterization unit along with 10 OTs.

4. The King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre – 1590 Beds

It is a JCI accredited tertiary/quaternary care and referral hospital based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. KFSH&RC was established in 1970 on a land donated by King Faisal Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud and was officially opened in 1975 by King Khaled Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud.

5. The Royal Commission Hospital – 216 Beds

It is a secondary care hospital located in Jubail, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia and along the coast of the beautiful Persian Gulf. The hospital holds JCI accreditation. The hospital is equipped with 7 OTs & they are specialized for emergency care services.

Major Private Hospitals

1.Jeddah National Hospital

They are a tertiary care multi-specialty hospital covering a wide range of medical and surgical specialties including Emergency Care & also equipped with ICU. the Hospital is Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) accredited and is adopting the standards of Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI), which is the leading body for accrediting healthcare organizations in Saudi Arabia.

2. Kingdom Hospital

It is located in Al Rabie Quarter, Takkassosi street, in the northern part of Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, is one of Saudi Arabia’s latest and most extensively equipped private hospitals. The hospital is established in 2001 with specialized Pain Management Center and a Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Unit, which is the first private Rehabilitation Center in Riyadh. The hospital is also equipped with ICU.

3. Al Mana Medical Group – 1118 Beds

This is the largest medical company and healthcare provider in the Eastern Region providing services for more than six decades through its wide range of healthcare services. This group serves through a chain of hospitals & Clinics.

4. Dr. Fakhry & Al Rajhi Hospital – 200 Beds

Established in 1974, the hospital is specialized in Cardiac Care & Emergency care services. Most of staff are certified from Saudi Heart Association or CPR providers, some of them certified as Advanced Trauma Life Support providers.

5. King Abdullah Medical Complex, Jeddah – 500 Beds

It is located strategically located north of Jeddah in northern Abhor on an area of 266 thousand square meters and has been certified as one of the most specialized centers for the Middle East Syndrome. It is one of the super specialty hospital in the region.

Major Diagnostic Centers in Saudi Arabia


The healthy economic profile of the country empowered the Saudi government to modernize its health sector and this development has attracted medical professionals from all over the world. While significant efforts have been made to improve the country’s healthcare infrastructure, the same cannot be said for the Private Sector. The Health System is largely dependent on Public sector & Private Sector is still way behind. For Hajj, nearly 2.5 Million people every year travels to KSA & thus the Medical tourism industry is also developing. This is providing lot of opportunities to new private hospitals to come & thrive.

if you need any support in planning and designing of a new hospital you can contact us: Hospaccx healthcare business consulting Pvt. Ltd on: [email protected] Or you can visit our website


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