Health card to be made mandatory for expats’ families

Updated 01 February 2013

Health card to be made mandatory for expats’ families

The Health Ministry and the Directorate of Passports plan to make it mandatory for expatriates to obtain health insurance coverage for their dependents.
Insurance subscriptions will be necessary to obtain or renew the iqamas of the family members, said a source.
“Preparations for this scheme are under way in collaboration with the Directorate of Passports. It will be in place soon,” said the source.
Ahmed Al-Dammas, director of Information Technology at the Cooperative Health Insurance Council, said: “We have started registering dependent family members in the system. The insurance is being made obligatory for them.”
Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, meanwhile, signed a five-year contract in Riyadh to share the Health Insurance Council’s data with Al-Elm Company for Information Security.
The deal aims to provide data on workers’ health insurance policies, which are needed at the time of issue and renewal of residence permits.
“The adoption of the latest technology in the council’s operations will simplify its tasks,” said Al-Rabeeah, who is also the president of the council.
The Elm Company will transfer the data on health insurance to the council through an online link between it and the council, according to the contract. The availability of full data will help the council serve the workers in the private sector better besides prompting the insurance sector to elevate its performance level.
Secretary General of the council Dr. Abdullah Al-Shareef, said the company would supply the council the technical requirements including username and password when the service is established. The service is scheduled to start four months after signing the contract.
Al-Shareef also urged health insurance companies to transfer all the documents and data issued by them to the council directly using the online facility for exchange of data between the council and the insurance companies.
He said this is the second contract signed by the council with the company for insurance data transfer.
After the first contract was signed in 2006, 25 million data transfer operations were conducted, although 3 million operations were rejected because of errors in data. Errors included a mismatch between the iqama number of the worker and the details in his sponsor’s documents.
He added that 2.5 million operations were canceled either because insured workers with insurance left the Kingdom, changed sponsors or changed their insurance company. Besides enabling effective supervision of the sector, the contract will help reduce disputes between an insurance company and employer of a worker to protect the right of a worker, he said.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.