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Saudi Arabia marks healthcare transformation boom

Article-Saudi Arabia marks healthcare transformation boom

Image via Canva Pro Saudi healthcare transformation
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of medical tourism growth in the MENA region.

Tourists from the Middle East region account for over 30 per cent of total spending on medical tourism, which adds up to US$100 billion spent worldwide. Considering the circumstances, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to enhance the profile of healthcare within the country and give regional tourists the opportunity to enjoy the best treatments in close vicinity. 

As part of the Saudi Vision 2030, which includes the ambitious Saudi Arabia Health Sector Transformation Program, the country’s leaders launched several initiatives to strengthen the foundation of the Kingdom’s medical tourism sector. Below are some of KSA’s noteworthy strategies set to transform healthcare delivery:  

Clinique La Prairie in the KSA 

Bringing the concept of a ‘health resort’ and the first of its 25 hotels, Clinique La Prairie is KSA’s project centred on wellness. The resort, which sprawls over 36,115 square metres, will include 52 rooms, apartments, and 13 villas. There will be facilities for preventative medicine, genetics, and epigenetics, and a full-fledged staff experienced in treatments for fatigue, anxiety, digestive problems, insomnia, and diabetes, as well as a diagnostic lab and museum. The resort will further run on 100 per cent renewable energy and is likely to become an attractive destination for medical tourists seeking luxurious facilities. 

RelatedSaudi Arabia focuses on hospitality services in hospitals

Growth of healthcare privatisation  

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) granted 100 per cent ownership to foreign investors involved in the healthcare space, following a renewed pledge made by the Saudi Government to privatise 295 state hospitals in 2020. This would allow the nation to participate in the international market for medical tourism. 

KSA will further work on capacity building aligned with privatisation goals and public-private-partnership initiatives. This move will also help the Kingdom boost speciality facilities, ranging from oncology and gynaecology to cosmetology. 

Rise of medical cities 

Medical cities in Saudi Arabia are expected to have comprehensive features, including advanced technologies and medical practices. A complete range of diagnostic procedures and therapeutic approaches are included in the services that cover most clinical services. Saudi Arabia currently has five medical cities in the pipeline: 

  • King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh 
  • King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah 
  • King Khalid Medical City in Dammam 
  • King Faisal Medical City for Southern Regions 
  • Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Medical City to cater to the northern regions of Saudi Arabia. 

Their development should lead to an intriguing and advantageous junction for medical tourism by creating a more robust integration between local and global communities. 

Related: How healthtech solutions are shaping primary care in Saudi Arabia

Cultural and heritage development 

Saudi Arabia is extending its state-of-the-art health services to another 1.6 million visitors that travel year-round to the country for religious purposes. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage approved a plan to combine religious tourism with medical tourism, with a focus on special destinations like the Knowledge Economic City (KEC) Hub project. The area will feature shops, restaurants, cafes, and even five-star hotels.  

As the medical and tourism sectors converge, the Kingdom of Saudi is poised to transform the country into a sought-after global hub for medical tourism. 

Global Health Exhibition will take place from 29-31 October at Riyadh Front Exhibition & Conference Center (RFECC). To learn more or to register, click here.

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