- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Saudi Arabia Guide (PDF)
Healthcare in Saudi Arabia is of a high standard. Expats will benefit from excellent medical facilities in both the private and public sectors. For the most part, they won't need to worry about delays or waiting lists.
Hospitals in Saudi Arabia
There are public, private and military hospitals in Saudi Arabia. Most expats use private hospitals and clinics. However, their high standards come with a hefty price tag, so expats should make sure they're covered by health insurance.
Many of the staff at private hospitals in Saudi Arabia are expats themselves and numerous hospitals are affiliated with well-known foreign facilities – so the language gap shouldn't be an issue.
Health insurance in Saudi Arabia
Locals and expats working in the public sector have access to state-sponsored healthcare coverage, but it's compulsory for non-Saudi nationals to have private medical insurance. It's usually the sponsoring employer's responsibility to provide their expat employees with medical cover. Expats should try to negotiate this into their contract if it isn't the case.
Medicines and pharmacies in Saudi Arabia
Medicines are widely available at pharmacies in Saudi Arabia. Expats should however be aware of customs regulations before bringing medication into the country. For example, tranquillisers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills are heavily controlled in the Kingdom.
Most pharmacies are open from 9.30am to 1pm and from 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Hospitals often have a 24-hour pharmacy.
Health hazards in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is mostly desert and expats usually struggle to adapt to extreme temperatures that can soar above 113°F (45°C). Heatstroke and exhaustion are common, especially during the hottest months from May to September.
Dust storms can also make outdoor activities difficult and can be hazardous to those with respiratory problems.
Emergency services in Saudi Arabia
Ambulances in Saudi Arabia are normally operated and controlled by police and government hospitals. For medical emergencies, expats can call 997.
►Moving with kids? Read Education and Schools in Saudi Arabia
Are you an expat living in Saudi Arabia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Saudi Arabia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.