Health insurance scheme delayed

Updated 01 August 2013
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Health insurance scheme delayed

Market experts have welcomed the Health Service Council’s plan to delay the medical insurance scheme for citizens by at least five years.
The council’s proposal has been presented to higher authorities, a source told Arab News.
“The council, chaired by Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, took the decision on the basis of the findings of a recent study,” Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily earlier quoted a ministry source as saying.
The introduction of medical insurance for Saudi nationals is likely to double the Kingdom’s insurance market, which is now estimated at more than SR25 billion.
The scheme has been subjected to extensive studies by the ministry and the Shoura Council over the past years.
In a previous statement, Minister Al-Rabeeah has said that application of medical insurance on citizens was not an easy task and should not be compared with that of expats.
Khaled Mirghalani, spokesman of the ministry, said the scheme is still under study in association with the Cooperative Health Insurance Council.
Market experts welcomed the decision to postpone the scheme and voiced hope additional time for authorities to develop a world-class system.
“We have to adopt best practices in other countries, especially the US, to make the scheme more service-oriented than another money-making business,” said Professor Mohammed Abdussalam of King Abdulaziz University’s Faculty of Engineering.
Kavungal Mohamed, assistant vice president of Marsh, said the postponement would help the government provide better health services to citizens.
At present about 70 percent of citizens depend on government hospitals and medical centers for health services, Mohamed said.
“The Kingdom should have necessary infrastructure before applying the scheme on citizens,” he told Arab News, adding that the scheme’s application on Saudi nationals would double the Kingdom’s insurance market.


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”