Saudi Arabia is an emerging medical tourism destination. Although the citizens of Saudi Arabia get express access to health care at no cost at all, complicated health operations still eludes the Saudi medical system. Don’t get it wrong, there are good hospitals in Saudi Arabia but many of them are still lagging behind in quality thereby prompting citizens to travel to the United States, European and Asian countries tobtain better health care. What this means is that though the potentials are there already, a lot still needs to be done to get it to the desired height.
Current setback to the Saudi medical tourism
Saudi Arabia is currently facing huge challenges in their medical tourism because the expected inbound medical tourists have not been forthcoming. Even domestic tourism is receiving a blow because nationals with some form of illness are sent to countries such as Germany, Canada, Britain and the United States of America.
Reasons for the stagnation in Saudi Arabia medical tourism
The stagnation at the moment to the Saudi Arabia medical tourism is as a result of various factors. Some of them are as follows
- Lack of advanced technology: Saudi Arabia is currently lacking some of the advanced medical equipment that is the key to successful medical processes across the globe. The equipment currently available to most of the hospitals around is far below standard to what is in vogue at the moment. Even the best doctors in the world rely on these modern facilities for a successful health care experience
- Lack of sufficient adverts and promotions: virtually every country in the world that are working on boosting their tourism (no matter what aspect of it) engage in adverts and promotions on international media and various other promotional means to call for tourists. This is not the case with Saudi Arabia. The government and private owners of hospitals still operate on low key, preferring to let it be an in house thing.
Glimpse of hope for the Saudi Arabia medical tourism
Speaking with Mr. Suliman M. Aishuaibi, a medical attaché to the Saudi Arabian embassy in both Canada and United States of America, when he attended the fourth World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress, he explained that all that was about to change as the government was already actively developing the world of medical tourism in Saudi Arabia in a number of ways. Mr. Suliman who was handed an award for International Healthcare Leadership indicated that he would continue to work with the government of Canada and the US till the medical tourism sector in Saudi Arabia was fully developed.
How much investment is the Saudi government hoping to invest?
First off, the Saudi King has ordered the construction of four medical cities which would have between two to three thousand beds and should be operational in two years. That aside, the government of Saudi Arabia has also mapped out about ten billion dollars to the Saudi Ministry of Health in the budget and the figure does not include that for the 26 universities, National Guard Hospitals and Ministry of Defense Hospitals
- Saudi Arabia medical tourism is expected to grow at a fast rate.
- The government of Saudi has set aside huge amount to revitalize the tourism sector.
- Four medical cities are proposed to be built in Saudi Arabia.
- One of the major problems with Saudi medical tourism Is lack of technology.
- Saudi Arabia is partnering with US and Canada to grow her medical tourism.
- Lack of sufficient advertisement is part of the problem of Saudi medical tourism.
- Saudi citizens get healthcare at no added cost.
- Complicated surgeries are not carried out in Saudi Arabia because of lack of equipment.
- Saudi citizens are forced to seek health care in other countries
- Professional doctors still need technology to succeed.
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