Health insurance for visitors approved

Updated 25 July 2015

Health insurance for visitors approved

JEDDAH: The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance in the Kingdom has endorsed a visitor health insurance system for those wishing to obtain medical insurance during their visit to the country, with treatment coverage of up to SR100,000.
A local publication reported that the visitor health insurance system will cover a number of medical expenses including medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, medications, hospital expenses, pregnancy and childbirth, emergency dental cases, premature infant cases, emergency dialysis and medical evacuation cases.
The coverage will also include injuries caused by traffic accidents, and the costs of handling or processing the bodies of the deceased.
The exemptions of the medical insurance coverage include non-urgent medical tests which can be postponed until the insured visitor returns home, as well as diseases that arise from the abuse of medicines and plastic surgery, venereal diseases, eyeglasses, hearing aids or electroacoustic devices and implants of organs.
The insured person is not entitled to cancel his or her pre-organized insurance document after entering the Kingdom, but can do so in cases of non-entry. In such circumstances, the value of the payment will be returned to the beneficiary.
The insured visitor is entitled to receive medical services within 60 minutes from the time of requesting the approval. Additionally, the insured person shall not use the document to cover the expenses of any treatment for a condition known to him prior to his planned visit to the Kingdom.
Speaking to a local publication, Khaldoun Barakat, head of the insurance committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the mechanisms to implement the project are still being studied by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and insurance companies, in addition to the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance. He said that the number of beneficiaries may reach 8 million foreigners who enter the Kingdom with Umrah and Haj visas.
Sources familiar with the sector said that the payment of insurance fee will serve as a perquisite for all wishing to obtain required visas for visitation.
The project has been under study for 10 years and has faced many obstacles along the way which led to its delay more than once. Some of these obstacles have involved the ratio of expenses the insured must bear. Other reasons involved the weak medical services network, particularly in the terminal regions.
Hamad Al-Manie, a former health minister, exerted extensive efforts to enable the project to succeed. Another former Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, revived the project and held a conference on the issue which was attended by experts in the medical insurance sector from many countries.

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019

Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.