Hajj Ministry announces insurance for pilgrims

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Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammed Salih Bentin and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 December 2019

Hajj Ministry announces insurance for pilgrims

  • Comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan
  • Supported by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah

JEDDAH: Hajj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten and Tawuniya Chairman Sulaiman Al-Humaid signed an agreement on Wednesday to provide insurance for pilgrims coming from outside Saudi Arabia.

The signing took place at the Hajj and Umrah Ministry’s headquarters in Makkah. As part of the agreement, the ministry will provide health and other insurance services to pilgrims from the time they arrive in the Kingdom until they leave.

The insurance scheme comes as part of the Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to enhance pilgrims’ experiences, said Minister Benten.

Tawuniya was tapped by the Hajj and Umrah Ministry in consultation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the Health Insurance Council, he added.

The insurance will be linked to the visa as soon as the pilgrim arrives in Saudi Arabia, he said. There will be a hotline, and pilgrims will be served by teams who speak multiple languages.

Ayman Al-Arfaj, general supervisor of the ministry's media center, said the insurance will cost SR189 per person, which will be paid to the insurance company and will cover 30 days, the total stay of the pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.

He said that insurance will be unified for all pilgrims and will cover emergency cases, accidents and repatriation of the remains of pilgrims who die in Saudi Arabia. A pilgrim automatically gets insurance once the visa is issued.

Pilgrims in need of health assistance can avail themselves of the insurance benefit by presenting their passports at any hospital or clinic under the Saudi Ministry of Health or any private hospital and clinic accredited by the Health Insurance Council, Al-Arfaj said.

Abdulaziz bin Hadsan Al-Bouq, CEO of Tawuniya, which has been awarded the contract for four years, said the Kingdom is developing innovative methods to provide health services and reduce accidents at holy sites.

This project, he added, is supported by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and each insurance covers an amount of SR100,000 ($26,665) per person.

Al-Arfaj noted that since the start of the Umrah season in October, a total of 1,518,649 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom. 


Saudi Arabia’s Mawid smartphone app offers coronavirus self-assessment

Updated 03 April 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Mawid smartphone app offers coronavirus self-assessment

  • Mawid helps users book appointments at 2,400 health care centers in Saudi Arabia
  • The service provided by Mawid is free of charge

The Saudi Health Ministry has introduced a self-assessment feature on its Mawid smartphone app amid the global outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), offering a consultation window for the public.

The feature includes a list of questions, guidelines and instructions based on the users’ recent travel history and their symptoms.

“Importantly, if you suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms, please download the Mawid app and use the self-assessment tool to get guidance,” said Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.

Consultation services have been provided for half-a-million people by the Health Ministry and around 250,000 self-assessment tests have been made through its Mawid app.

Mawid helps users book appointments at 2,400 health care centers in the Kingdom. The application follows the “Central Appointment System” that allows them to manage their referral appointments.

Launched in 2019, the app was launched as part of the ministry’s plan to implement digital transformation through technology.

The service provided by Mawid is free of charge. Once the user has downloaded the app, they will be required to sign in with their Absher username and password.

The user will be taken to another window and will be required to fill out the required information, where they will be able to see a self-assessment banner that takes them to a survey.

When the user has finished the assessment, they will receive guidance according to their symptoms.

Pakistani expat Talha Mohammad has been using the app to book appointments for his son’s vaccinations. “It is a really good app, and easy to use,” he said, adding: “The best part is that they send you reminders repeatedly which is perfect since I have trouble remembering appointments.”

Saudi citizen Fatimah Ahmed used the app for COVID-19 self-assessment with the help of her eldest daughter. “We went through the self-assessment process, answered the given questions and were given tips to follow.”

She was told to rest assured and visit the ministry’s COVID-19 guide for more information. “It is a good tool for other features, such as booking appointments and whatnot. However, I am very paranoid about the virus and when it comes to health, I am old-fashioned and prefer physical checkups to smart apps.”

The Mawid app is available for both Android and iOS.