Comprehensive health cover for Saudis in five years: Al-Rabiah

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Tawfiq Al-Rabiah

Saud Gazette report

JEDDAH —
The Ministry of Health is planning to establish a national insurance center to provide medical insurance to Saudi citizens, who will have comprehensive health coverage in five years.

“The insurance will not be selective but will rather be comprehensive covering all the diseases,” Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said in a TV interview.

He said some of the packages offered by commercial insurance companies do not cover chronic diseases, organ transplants and some dental problems.

“Our medical insurance is, however, designed to be comprehensive and cover all the diseases,” the minister explained.

“The citizen deserves the best of medical insurances and the most spectacular health services,” he said.

The minister said his ministry was endeavoring to provide all the required treatments inside the Kingdom itself. “I do not accept making the citizen an experimental rat abroad,” he added.

Al-Rabiah said the provision of medicines to citizens is an important priority for him.

“The prescription will automatically be sent to the Saudi patient and he or she can purchase the medicines from any pharmacy,” he said.

The minister said the government hospitals and health centers will be made into complexes that will each serve about a million people. “There will be about 20 such complexes in all parts of the Kingdom to extend consummate health services to the citizens,” he added.

He said the ministry’s medical plans are aimed at increasing the life expectancy of Saudis to 80 years.

The minister revealed that the last batch of the non-Saudi dentists in the ministry will be replaced by nationals within two months.

Al-Rabiah said the deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents dropped to about a third during the past two years. He added that smoking is more hazardous than the traffic accidents.

“Smoking shortens the life span by about 10 years,” the minister said.


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